The idea behind the new initiative is to bring Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One novel into a multi-world open ‘metaverse experience.’
In an X thread on Jan. 4, the New Zealand-headquartered startup said it has teamed up with Ready Player One author Ernest Cline to launch a new venture dubbed Readyverse Studios, aimed at integrating major IPs into the metaverse. Dan Farah, the producer of the 2018 Warner Bros. film adaptation of the novel, is also listed as the co-founder of the firm.
While financial and technical details of the initiative were not disclosed, Futureverse says the joint products will be rolled out sometime in 2024 on The Root Network, a distributed ledger that utilizes ROOT tokens for security and governance, and Ripple’s XRP for gas fees. Amid the news, ROOT’s price soared by over 14% to $0.073, according to CoinGecko.
Formed in late 2022, Futureverse raised $54 million in a Series A funding round, led by 10T Holdings with participation from Ripple Labs. Prior to the funding, Futureverse integrated The Root Network with XRPL and supported the XRPL-based non-fungible token standard known as XLS-20 NFT.
Real risks in virtual reality
In mid-September 2023, NYU Stern’s Center for Business and Human Rights raised concerns around the metaverse, stressing the need for a comprehensive privacy law in response to significant privacy threats. According to a report from NYU’s Stern Center for Business and Human Rights (CBHR), experiences in virtual reality (VR) may result in profound and lasting psychological harm.
Besides privacy issues, lawless virtual spaces open limitless opportunities for abusers. Even physical assault in the metaverse can harm from a psychological point of view, as people immersed in a virtual reality world have the sensation that “what they are experiencing is real,” the report claims.
The report suggests that Congress should pass a “comprehensive privacy law” to protect consumer privacy and limit the use of body-based data. It also urges the government to reinforce the Federal Trade Commission’s mandate to protect consumers against “unfair and deceptive practices by technology companies” and to form a federal body tasked with this mandate.