Futurist Logo

The Future of Games


Dean Takahashi

Co-hosts Brett King and Robert Tercek interview journalist Dean Takahashi, who has been covering innovation in the game industry for three decades. Dean gives The Futurists a post-CES roundup of new trends and genres that span a dizzying array of evolving technologies.  Games have expanded beyond a niche category of entertainment to dominate mainstream media. Games now foster new story franchises that attract tens of millions of fans daily. Dean explains how game tech is blurring the boundaries between the classic game industry and other media, such as motion pictures and television series. He tells us why game developers are most likely to lead the way into the metaverse. And he anticipates interoperable game economies where any player can also be a creator of generative worlds that are photorealistic. Topics include: core gamers, casual games, free-to-play, cloud gaming, blockchain games, VR and AR, Roblox, Fortnite, PUBG, digital twins and game communities.  Websites:  @DeanTak on Twitter GamesBeat.com VentureBeat.com

Analysis complete. No addtional information is required for context. Proceed with transcript display ...

View Transcript

document button

[Music] this week on The futurists Dean Takahashi
no the metaverse hasn't been tried yet it's it's one of those things where if you cross over certain technology
thresholds then it becomes possible and so what I would look forward to is
having the equivalent of the Star Trek Holodeck where you could instantly just like that you know change from one world
to another or have a world generated that to me looks like reality
[Music] welcome back to the futurists the show
where we talk to the people who are inventing discovering and writing about the future and this week we're going to
look into the future of games with a good friend a long time friend and colleague of mine but before we do that
Brett welcome to the show good to see you you're hey man where are you coming from this yeah I'm on the road I'm in
Budapest Hungary sitting on the Danube River right now so that's pretty cool that sounds pretty nice and uh I would
imagine it's pretty chilly there at this time of year yeah it so it's freezing as like uh in in U.S terms like 30 to 33
degrees but um you know one degree Celsius so I had to go out and buy myself a jacket because coming from
Bangkok I wasn't wasn't really prepared not ready for the cold weather uh it's a
shock to the system when you come from a place that's typically 85 Degrees well we should probably start off with some
news uh you got a couple news items for us this week ready for the news from the future
[Music] so two that I picked up on is first there's a report that came out on
January 23rd um so it's just last week um you know in as per time of the
recording um from itif which is the information technology and Innovation foundation and
it's got a really controversial title this report wake up America China is
overtaking the United States in Innovation uh capacity and you know we hear it often um you know Americans
talking about that that China just copies the us but the type of innovation that is is
happening in in China is it in some rest some respect sort of infrastructure
Innovation and and so forth not necessarily new products to Market but core Innovation and economy level so by
2020 China's Innovation and advanced industry capabilities increased to roughly 75 percent of the us but they
are set to overtake the U.S over the next couple of years and as we've talked about um you know particularly in
respect to things like patents and other things um you know they've made
um a substantial progress but in terms of innovation indicators um or innovation capacity
um this report clearly shows that uh um you know China is going to surpass
the us and this comes back to the conversation we've had on the show numerous times the other piece of news is um from Professor of genetics and a
co-director of the Paul F Glenn Center of biology and aging research at the Harvard Medical School this is a 13-year
study that has been conducted at Harvard uh Harvard Medical School by Dr David
Sinclair and his colleagues and after the 13 years they've really discovered a key factor in aging you know we had uh
of course Aubry degree on the show a couple of weeks ago talking about cell
senescence and you know uh you know the zombie cells and all those things but it turns out
um it's the loss of epigenetic information um passing from you know cell cells to
new cells that really creates this deterioration in all of these areas of Aging that we've talked about such as
telomere lengths and soul reproduction errors and the zombie cells and so forth and that by improving that transmission
of DNA epigenetic information from one cell to the other we can reverse aging
so they've been able to dial up and dial down um you know cellular aging it's a really it's a massive
um uh you know piece of advanced research in in respect to overall aging
that's gonna it's taking us in a in a particular direction in terms of reversing aging so
um Aubrey gray was talking about 2036 as a sort of escape velocity but it may be
that you know this this is uh represent a real Milestone only than that well
that's pretty good progress it makes good sense right as cells copy each other we know that there is their defects right and the telomeres break
and wear on and so forth uh so the idea that you can make a better copy more accurate copy should suggest exactly
probably extend lifespan although that sounds easy the way I stand I'm sure it's quite a challenge
I've got one piece for you today one news item that I showed my eye this week which I thought was kind of an interesting and funny story it's um it's
about food it's about the future of food it follows some of the conversations we've recently had um but this time it's about making food
from Air so it turns out that there's a a um a fungal microbe that was discovered by
nasa-funded scientists in Yellowstone Park it was found in an acidic hot spring in Yellowstone and um this
particular fungus can process air to yield a protein uh that might not sound particularly appealing but apparently there are a
couple companies nature is fine and another firm in Finland called solar foods and they're they've harnessed this
particular fungus to generate protein and it comes in the form of a cream cheese get that a fungal cream cheese
that some people compare to mascarpone so it's like oh that sounds delicious maybe
um or a hazelnut praline mousse that sounds like it could be a good dessert wow and many other forms of course so
it's a protein you can do it why that's important for the future is uh that about half of Earth's arable land is
already cultivated and I was surprised to learn that about a third of human human-caused uh
greenhouse gases are coming from the agricultural sector maybe think about uh raising animals and
so forth for for food uh there's a that's a big source of greenhouse cow fats basically yeah that's really it so
we're uh we're gonna switch at some point to fungal produced food generated from air and that'll spare us the cow
farts great on that note let's get into the show this week we should get someone
to talk about the future of mushrooms you know the mycelial oh we should get into that we should do this but but I
stopped you yeah yeah let's let's not up cut the introduction of our guests here uh it's a great pleasure to bring on our
guests old friend of mine Dean Takahashi and Dean is the principal writer for
gamesbeat which is part of venture beat and he's also the organizer of the gamesbeat uh conferences and events and
he's been covering the game sector for sheesh I don't know 30 years Dean what a great pleasure to have you on the
futurist thanks for joining us yeah thank you yeah I appreciate it we're excited to have you here uh you
know I've been wanting to have a show on the future of games for a heck of a long time and I can't think of a better
person to talk about that since you've got such a long track record uh you and I crashed into each other I think back
in the days early days of mobile games uh when people would say to me
games on phones suck and I'd be like yeah you know that's actually kind of true and it was for a mighty long time
but now games is the biggest platform yeah worldwide it's much bigger than uh PlayStations or PCS
so it's a uh the world of games evolves rapidly uh tell us tell us a little bit
about the state of the game industry today well you're right that mobile games is the biggest segments uh within
gaming now it's it's more than half of the the market uh PC and console games are still going strong but they don't
engage nearly as many people and people on on the run really um uh have have time for mobile gaming
and so uh it's exploded the the business model of free to play uh really helped
uh that happened and um yeah I think that uh if there is any sort of a
Slowdown in in gaming now um it has to do a bit with um you know
whether uh people playing those mobile games are really dedicated players or not and the people who are spending time
on PC games and console games um they are extremely dedicated and
they're they're plain um uh this form of entertainment uh you know far more than any the other kind of
of diversion but but mobile Gamers um you
know they they're a bit more sensitive to to the times and so like a recessionary environment uh they may not
play as much um they may sort of go off and do other things uh especially as uh sort of we're
in a post-pandemic phase I think um yeah for the benefit of our audience let me clarify a couple things because
you mentioned two things that I want to make sure people understand the first one is the distinction between core Gamers and casual gamers and that's the
distinction you're talking about we talk about people playing on a phone anybody who's serious about playing games is probably going to have a gaming rig at
home that's set up with the proper chair and so forth like my friend Brett who went back when he's a home base and he's
a dedicated game I'm a serious gamer dude I've got like a a 8 000 gaming PC
massive widescreen yeah I'm I'm looking like a drink you know I've been a gamer since PC
based gamer since and then there's the casual gamers and that's the folks who play on on their phones and they're not
necessarily going to buy dedicated equipment but they play on the device they happen to have and these days mobile phones are pretty good you know
the power of that phone keeps improving so it's basically a super computer in your pocket and it's connected to a
fairly fast Network so the things that might have previously been a bottleneck that made mobile games pretty terrible
back in the day those problems have been solved and so now we have a pretty decent game machine in our pocket that's
a field that's been absolutely booming with downloadable apps for the last 10 years and there's a lot of innovation
there one of the Innovations you mentioned is free to play free to play is where you get the game for free and
you decide when to pay that's a kind of a novel concept when I start in the games industry we sold shrink wrap boxes
with shiny discs inside of them and there we charge you a stiff 45 bucks up front if you didn't like the game it was
just like a movie theater like Tough Luck Charlie you bought the Box you bought the bought the game you open the box you can't bring it back
um these days players get to download the game and play as much as they like and it is kind of nuts you can play 55
levels of Candy Crush before you pay but woe to you if you pay because the minute
you pay that game changes tell us a little bit about free to play because I know it's controversial some game designers dislike it intensely
yeah uh the the the notion of free to play more like more than a decade ago
ago and you know it started with Nexon um uh trying to figure out a way to get
around the problem of uh piracy in the game industry everybody was especially
in Asia you know they're they're just really copying games and and never paying for them um but they they did
figure out that uh if if you're delivering value for people let them try it out for free they get uh they get
addicted to it and then they just uh say hey I'm gonna I'm gonna uh pay for
something in this game that I'm enjoying so much and you know it might be five bucks but it might be a thousand bucks
as well there was no cap on how much could be paid and so the people who who spent this money and played a whole lot
they became what were called whales and uh uh you know maybe even just two
percent of the players were were doing this deciding to pay uh but they they
could basically find chance you know the the rest of the community getting the
game for free because they there was no there's no cap on how much uh these
people could could pay uh so definitely uh you know uh created a new alternative
uh point of entry into games and then once you once you go through that sort
of uh that Looking Glass you're never going back and so then your
your gaming habits just uh just keep on growing at that point the business model
attracted new players for sure but it also changed the way we designed games because it it caused game designers to
design very hooky sticky games yeah and so the nature of the games
themselves began to change in some respects they became more like slot machines you know like it felt like free gambling yeah until you put money in in
which case then I felt very much like real gambling except you don't get a cash prize back you just spend the money it's like it's like the world's worst
casino yeah definitely veered off into things like loot boxes and that became a
sort of the dark side of the game industry and uh tell us about a lot of
it generates a lot of money uh and loot boxes you know you you pay for something but you don't know what's inside and
you're trying to get you know like a super special sword or something like that but uh it almost does become like a
slot machine as far as your chances of getting that or like a scratch off lottery ticket you know where you you
purchase the thing and then you open it to find out what's inside and in fact in some countries uh those those loot boxes
have been deemed a kind of Lottery right they've been banned in Japan and I think some place in Europe as well yeah yeah
illegal like uh Belgium for example yeah it's definitely considered illegal gambling sometimes so the point is there
that we tend to think of games as being kind of constant or we one tends to think of games as um being persistent
and it's certainly true you know games like chess have been around for centuries and haven't evolved and
they're still very appealing um but in the world of uh of video games there's just tremendous amounts of
change I'd say of all the media types games is the one that changes the most it's the most uh influenced by the
technology it's the most influenced by the network because Gamers require you
know really milliseconds uh response times in order for the game to be plausible it's also where the developers
uh the people who create the games are willing to test out technology I wouldn't say that that's true of other
kinds of entertainment uh you know one could say musicians use technology and they do they experiment with it uh the
motion picture businesses tends to be technology resistant until there's like a proven breakthrough that'll give them
an advantage but in the game industry you've got coders that are testing systems that often aren't even
documented you know they're at the very Cutting Edge of the technology I consider them to be I consider game developers like the test pilots for new
technology that's one of the reasons why it's such an interesting subject so yeah definitely uh there's you know
different uh branches of innovation in games right now that are pushing into
things like cloud gaming and cloud cloud technology and uh there's VR of course
and uh blockchain uh games uh and I want to ask about all those
you know you know everybody says that cloud gaming is the next big thing although it's not so clear to me that
that's the case and certainly Google proof that it's easy to screw up uh and and kind of retreat with your town
between your legs apparently Microsoft is making a go of it and they're doing well tell us a little bit about cloud gaming
so cloud gaming basically uh will uh put the computing power and the graphics uh
processing into a data center in the cloud and you access that via the
Internet uh for your game device and you can basically you know enhance uh the
processing power that you have available to you enormously uh just just through
the form of video that you download into a device and you upload download and it
feels like all of the interaction is happening right there on your device when in fact um you know a lot of the processing is
happening in a data center that's far away so does that mean you could play a game like a really high powered game on
a like a basic Android Android tablet is that the idea you're streaming the game down from a data center yeah yeah so
then it doesn't matter how powerful your own particular devices and you can play a very high-end game uh like say Red
Dead Redemption 2 you can play it on a laptop that basically has very little
Graphics power or a smartphone um the market of Gamers is that what's
happening is it are new people who don't have like an Nvidia laptops are they signing up well there's there's
innovations that go along with this and for example um a company called holoride is now enabling you to do virtual
reality Games on a headset in the car and uh and you know they're they would
access uh technology like uh the data in the car that tells you that the car is
turning and you know you know turn the simulation that you're seeing in the direction that the car is turning so you
don't get as seasick as you normally might with that kind of um uh promotion
experience right so I do think you know the whole Edge Computing and 5G stuff is
sort of taking us this way as well is you know if we can have if we can have
GPU storage and obviously very low latency video as a result of sort of 5G
it is a game changer now um you know there's questions about um you know
standards around 5G of course the U.S standard differing from um you know a lot of the rest of the
world but you know we are increasingly reliant on cloud and clearly as we go for more compute power
um you know the other angle with the cloud you know is going to be Energy Management you know a sustainable
compute power is going to be a feature of of the cloud stuff that you don't get from sort of the large on-prem but um
you know I I like you know look at some of the gaming systems that we've already got like Roblox and Minecraft and stuff
like this these These are essentially Cloud native platforms right
exactly and Roblox is enormously um popular now it's uh it's acrossed uh
well into nearly 60 million people playing it daily uh yeah that's astounding yeah and that's astounding
yeah my kids get their their allowance on
Roblox well the two youngest do the ten and the third and y'all that's that's that's how they've chosen to get their
allowance they're also uh it's trying to be a bit like Disney and and be multi-generational right and they're
trying to age up the content so that uh more than just kids will be uh spending
their time inside Roblox yeah it's like a it's like a very similar strategy to
Disney right well in in the in the second half of the show we'll talk a little bit about the direction that
games like Roblox and fortnite and Minecraft might be going in the future
um but first we have to take a break and so what we always do before we take a break is that my friend Brett is gonna
fire up some uh rapid questions for you and your job is to give quick answers to them so this is a chance for audience to
get to know you a little bit more okay to know uh how you got started how you got interested in this stuff over to you
Brett okay this is the quick file lightning round
what was the first game you remember playing pong I played it in a tennis uh
Court Lounge in the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas when I was on vacation
was it an arcade-based game uh it was one of those tabletop uh uh
games yeah okay cool um what do you what do you think is the
game that has most changed the gaming industry uh who would point to either fortnite or
Roblox uh you know fortnite it became very interesting because it forced the
industry to embrace cross play uh and uh and so like a person on a Sony device uh
could play with someone with Nintendo could play with someone on a mobile phone uh so that was important but
Roblox also really pioneered um user gender generated content and that seems like a very viable path into
into the future uh now um this could go either way but
you know uh can you give me the name of a futurist an entrepreneur or a game developer that has uh influenced you
personally and why I would say uh Tim Sweeney uh I used to interview Tim
Sweeney uh quite often in the days when the Xbox was launching more than you
know 20 years ago and he's still the CEO of epic games and uh pioneering uh you
know uh 3D Graphics in in a very big way and his company is uh is the maker of
fortnite uh and um he was the one who just um probably
five years ago started talking a lot about the metaverse and uh I was uh
interviewing him and I said well how you know how how soon do you think we can do the metaverse because I I don't believe
we're ever gonna get there to something like the Star Trek Holodeck and uh and
he said I think it'd be just a few years and uh and it sort of woke me up and you
know it it reminded me of the Neil Stevenson book from 1992 snow exactly you know and I I thought these things
were not going to come to pass uh very soon uh because of just you know the the
the idea that you can be so immersed in a space that it feels like it's a
reality it just didn't seem like we had that that kind of computing power but uh
you know here's Tim Sweeney one of the world's you know greatest uh Graphics gurus uh saying that this is going to be
possible and I I think maybe you know the the sort of Secret of that is really what kind of metaverse are we going to
get and how soon is that right so well that was sort of my next question is is there someone that you think has
predicted the future of gaming accurately well uh I mean Tim is is one for example
uh but I I think also Jensen Huang the CEO of Nvidia has also been very
inspiring as well he keeps saying that uh science fiction is becoming reality
and uh uh that uh the notion that we could make a breakthrough in one area uh
could Cascade a number of breakthroughs in other areas and and that started with deep learning neural networks and AI uh
actually working for the first time you know 10 years or so and uh when you get
breakthroughs like that then they do uh uh affect almost every kind of industry
like AI has pretty much proliferated through the tech industry and I saw that at the recent CES 2023 show all right
well let's talk about that after the break I'm a bit of a Gabe Newell fan myself but that's because I was heavily influenced by you know Half-Life as a as
a first person shooter but um all right well listen this were you listening to the futurists we have uh uh Dean
Takahashi is our guest this week we'll be right back after these words from our sponsors
provoked media is proud to sponsor produce and support the futurist podcast
provoke.fm is a global podcast Network and content creation company with the
world's leading fintech podcast and radio show Breaking Banks and of course it's spin-off podcast breaking Banks
Europe breaking Banks Asia Pacific and the fintech 5. but we also produce the official
phenovate podcast Tech on reg emerge everywhere the podcast of the Financial
Health Network and NextGen Banker from about all our podcasts go to provoke.fm
or check out breaking Banks the world's number one fintech podcast and radio show
okay we're back it's the second half of the show it is the futurists with my friend Brett King me right here
and our guest Dean Takahashi of games beat Hey Dean we're just getting into
the good stuff now uh so of course there's all these topics we want to jump into things about the metaverse the use
of artificial intelligence the idea of persistent world games that might start to extend into the world through things
like augmented reality or mixed reality so um let's take these Concepts one by one and break them down uh there's a lot
of hype at CES this year about gear and in particular there were a couple new devices that showed up uh new uh head
mounted displays for augmented reality or for virtual reality and the whole
world seems to be breathlessly waiting for this Apple announcement that keeps getting pushed further further down into
the future uh talk about the futurists that is a topic that keeps coming up on this show can you give us a little
perspective about what you learned at CES this year the consumer Electronics Show that gigantic Showcase of
electronic gizmos yeah there was interesting developments with
the virtual reality for sure HTC showed up a new headset they're charging eleven
hundred dollars for it but it's oriented towards uh consumer enthusiasts who uh
really love VR environments and learning the PlayStation VR too uh also made its
debut uh at uh at CES and it's going to be shipping in February as well and
um you know it's it's it is targeted uh for much more serious Gamers
um and it is priced at 550 right so half the price of the of the HTC Vive and
meta of course came out with uh their metaquest Pro for for Enterprises that uh costs about fifteen hundred dollars
then you have a other players uh that were at CES as well like magic leap
which is selling a 3 300 mixed reality uh glasses
um and uh and they're targeting that at Enterprises uh where you might want to
you know uh use it to train uh an associate walking down a an aisle uh
where they could see uh different descriptions of the things they're looking at popping up in their their AR
uh headsets for thirty three hundred dollars you think that that's a good deal to train a new associate in a
grocery store uh you know training costs uh for some reason are extremely high right and there aren't enough people to
do that training and so um uh this is one of the great use cases
for the early technology that you know it comes out at a very high Price Enterprises can afford it because
they're actually saving tens of thousands of dollars a year uh at least
that's the argument that they're using to sell it in CES that's right hey it's a shame that magically hasn't done more
you know um because you know obviously they have some pretty special Tech but I
I think the Gap is closing on some uh some some of that Tech you know like it's a really big problem with ar though
the big problem they are that everyone keeps running into is that the sun is really bright yeah the displays aren't
and you can't defeat the sun uh that was one of the major issues but there were a bunch at magically that was a company I
mean the interesting Advance about the magic leap 2 headset is that you can use
it Outdoors as well and so uh but it's you know it is a challenge it's a problem that just gets in the way of uh
the technology moving really fast for sure yeah apple has denied the the AR
launch right they're launching their mixed reality headset this year but they've said they're they're putting off
the augmented reality glasses for a while yeah it's the same problem the other issue is that this is where you
really need 5G you know when we think of 5G most people think of it as fast more bandwidth right or faster bandwidth and
that's true that's actually the way we've implemented in the United States but as you mentioned in the beginning Brett there's a lot of different
approaches to how you roll out 5G because it's a very complex technology and it enables the network operator to
allocate bandwidth in many different ways one of the ways to do it is to create a low latency Network which means
that you could deliver Refresh on a screen in the form of military really important for gaming yeah it's essential
for AR because if as you turn your head you have to redraw the screen dozens of times to make sure that it matches if
there's any lag any delay whatsoever it completely destroys the illusion and therefore it makes AR impossible to
launch as a valuable product so that's one of the brick walls that the headset manufacturers have run into is that we
simply don't have a network today in the US that would support it that may be different elsewhere in the world where
they're implementing uh they're implementing 5G networks with much higher tele density and therefore
possibly much more much lower latency on a different Spectrum right uh well
that's another factor in it but but let's before we Veer off into the land of uh of telecommunications standards
let's get back to CES and so what else did you see at CES that tickled your fancy but it definitely was a lot of
influence from generative AI um which uh has sort of you know taken
the the whole uh Tech World by by storm even Google is worried about uh the
effect this might have on uh people using search right you're talking about things like generative pre-trained
Transformers what we known as gpt3 or now chat GPT yeah and uh I wrote about a startup
today that came out of the CES announcements uh they're they're getting
their um their app onto uh LG TVs uh
because LG wants to position itself as a metaverse leader as well and uh what
what this does is it uh it lets you just engage with an app um it's coming in via the cloud uh into
the TV and then you just uh type in a text prompt and then it generates a
rural a world using what you typed in like if you I want a game I want a
multiplayer game with chickens fighting each other it'll generate that is it any good does
it look good or is it terrible yeah it could be terrible for sure and it could be disposable right uh but the the thing
that the company oximan and uh it's oxu world uh app um they're hoping for is
that uh is that the the the ability for users to create their own games using
their own imagination is going to be the hook right and that um
that's a big factor uh and I think when we talk about metaverse we should we should bear in mind that everybody will
be a Creator in the metaverse everybody will create some kind of art so that's where these uh automated systems these
AI generative systems can be quite powerful yeah and you know what they what they do is they enable people who
are lay people really ordinary people who don't know how to code to happened to something like generative AI to you
know create vast amounts of content that they could never otherwise create and so
um that's that's something that could really sort of um kick start uh user generated content
yeah we're gonna be we're going to be dealing with a flood of user generated AI generated content uh in the very near
future you know everything from newsletters and social media posts to really bad art some people make great
stuff with it it's super impressive to see the people who've got the skills in prompt craft generating really really
good looking art a really interesting new uh writing but a lot of it is
frankly average you know that's the whole point that it generates kind of the mean
mediocre content so so Dean um you know I want to I want to talk to you about sort of General
Trends here you know you do have things like fortnite which is more Community Based but you know if we look at the big
ticket games the Call of Duties and and things like this these games that are you know basically produced like
Hollywood Blockbusters and sort of you know in terms of budgets and in terms of Revenue that's produced by them you know
tend to be very similar even you know they they're you know higher returns than than uh you know Hollywood movies
they tend to be much more story driven you know use you know you're immersed in
the storytelling experiences so um you know it do you think that that's
the the sort of world is going to be split between these action you know
engagement models versus storytelling um you know and where does that put us
in terms of the metaverse do we sort of see you know playable movies coming in the future that you know um that you can
play a character there like think of what that what's happened with The Last of Us recently you know amazing new TV
series um you know the lines are blurring between games and and storytelling in in
that way where do you think this is taking us I I think we're going to have some very strong genres uh within gaming
that are going in very different directions like user generated content is only going to get stronger and the
storytelling really isn't there but it's it's your story and that's what's appealing to uh so many people uh
whereas the really high-end movie like uh storytelling like you see in the last
of us um uh you know we've gotten to an interesting stage where video games can do that and uh they can be the lead uh
storytelling um uh concept that can go across a lot
of different media uh and you know you you can have a lot of games now sort of
be mined as the sources for um the biggest movies coming out of Hollywood and so like the last of us uh
HBO series is really a great example of that and what's interesting now is that
these are becoming the same ecosystem like you know game engines are being used uh to make games but also to be you
know to make movies and TV shows like the Mandalorian uh was made with the Unreal Engine for example right and so
they're becoming one ecosystem and and what that means is then that is it's so
much easier for them to Traverse back and forth and that that means that people like the directors of these shows
they're Gamers now right and they they know how to respectfully treat the
source material so they don't offend The Gamers with search for the craziest kind
of movie Antics right uh so uh I think um that's that's definitely a trend
that's only gonna get stronger and it's going to strengthen gaming culture uh in the mainstream right it's going to mean
that everybody's going to know uh what the popular games are because they they
embrace the popular shows and so people who aren't Gamers they're become aware of things like League of Legends and
Arcane uh because of a great Netflix television show yeah the success of those shows is
clearly going to turn the motion the the motion picture industry is going to start to look at games as uh the place
where the concepts are developed you know to make a successful film and even a streaming series now you need to have
a built-in audience that's why we see so much franchise work and so many things that are derived from famous old Science
Fiction and Fantasy stories uh that have been around for years and years but we've kind of mined that out that vein
has been mined out and so now they're looking for new franchises and the gaming industry does that apparently
it's because persistent games games like fortnite and Roblox and Minecraft games
that are always there you know they're always available you can play them as long as you you can play until you drop and they'll still be players out there
continuing to play on after you go to bed uh those game worlds now attract
tens of millions of people uh worldwide and so they're well understood as a brand but weirdly they're still sort of
in this uh game industry Zone which is considered Niche by mainstream media I find that really weird that that
persists that the perception games is kind of like a niche Pursuit when yeah
and those communities yeah now and those communities are so
super tight you know I play this game called rust I don't know if you know it Dean but um you know it's a it's a generated
generated world that you play against the community um you know and the the community is so
involved in the stuff you know they eat and live breathe their stuff so you've got very passionate um audiences as well
Behind these games yeah that's that's actually the key to Microsoft's strategy
so you know one of the big things that's happened in the business of games is that game companies are getting rolled up game studios are getting acquired by
Mega game companies uh notably 10 cents the Chinese company is the biggest game company in the world right now in
response to that Microsoft's been buying up game companies and their approach to me is quite interesting I'd be happy to hear your perspective on it Dean what
I'm interested in is that Microsoft is buying game franchises that have really deep-rooted communities to the point
that Brett was just making so games like Elder Scrolls that have been around for a zillion years but they have this
community of passionate fans and some people speculate that that's Microsoft's approach to the metaverse
that they're going to build a metaverse one franchise at a time starting with communities they're not focusing on Tech
they're not focusing on any kind of like gimmick or play technique or something what they're focused on is where the
people who are going to contribute to building these worlds and sustaining these franchises I think that's quite a unique unique
approach what's your take on that what's your take on Microsoft as a game uh industry Roll-Up
but I think I think a lot of these big companies uh definitely want to uh
control the future right and the the um still say that they support openness
right and uh and so they're going to push for as much for priority uh
technology leadership as as they can but they can also Embrace a more open uh
path and an example is Microsoft is in the process of buying Activision Blizzard uh the biggest Standalone video
video game company in the US and um you know they're getting Call of Duty and what they could do uh once they get
so many of these franchises is set up something like Disneyland as a Walled
Garden right there's there is a wall around Disneyland right and uh you can
have Call of Duty land where players could go and just spend all their time and just do nothing but that and you
could have Halo land you could have Starfield land all these different franchises um make up this Disney
landing and you can get in for one low price right and um that's going to be
very competitive against anybody who's trying to sell you a standalone game and uh I I think
um you know the game companies uh they they have the engagement like once you
get into something like a metaverse you're going to want to do things there and uh the most engaging thing to do is
is to play games and I think um you know Jason Rubin from meta he he
had a great quote that um you know if you're going to build the metaverse it's going to have a ton of 3D content and
you're gonna need a game engine to build that and the people who know how to use game engines are game developers and so
it follows that game developers are going to lead the way into a metaverse
and and yet I I see very interesting things happening across
um all of Industry um with the Technologies like uh AI game
development tools are spreading uh the ability to create 3D Graphics uh into
every industry and you have Nvidia pushing the Omniverse tools and you can
use those to create digital assets and reuse them across different
um uh projects and uh you know that kind of tool is really necessary to create an
interoperable set of worlds are interoperable games
where you can use one thing in a game maybe technology right but use one thing
in game and then take it to another game because you've already bought and you own it and and that ownership can be
verified through blockchain and so once these things um all uh proliferate then you can
undertake some very interesting gigantic projects like Nvidia wants to use Omniverse to create a digital twin of
the earth and have it be accurate on a meter level scale so that they can use
all the super computers in the world which use Nvidia Graphics right um to to actually do an analysis on that
digital twin and predict climate change for decades to come like if you can do
that wow you've basically built a digital twin of the earth and you get
the metaverse for free right so you built that thing everybody else can reuse it in their own
ways there's a there's a Creator out there that's named Brendan green who's
kind of chomping at the bit to get hold of this technology he's the creator of playerunknown's Battlegrounds Pub G the
first really successful Battle Royale game in gaming and uh pubg had sold more
than 90 million units right and um this made Brendan uh quite wealthy
and able to finance a new sort of long-term project and what he wants to do is basically create a world right
like a digital twin of the earth and this set players loose in it and let
them create their own games with it and he would welcome other visitors from
other worlds into this uh into this game world uh but you know at the entrance to
the world he's basically going to use um AI or generative AI to convert
whatever they I have into what they can use inside his world right and so you
wouldn't have a fantasy player showing up as a knight in shining armor into a
Call of Duty World right so it's like an avatar translator
but that was you know that's a bit of the concept behind Oasis you know Ready Player one is that you do you could
build these uh persistent characters that could cross between worlds and you know you could you could have your you
know it's it's your ability to have your really own flavor in in terms of building your persona in the game world
or the metaverse world I think that's that's part of um you know the personalization of the
game experience for individuals is is being able to craft that that stuff out you know and and look you know a lot of
these games the fortnite's the you know rust um you know Minecraft and so forth you
know you're often um buying um skins or you're buying um you know
tool sets to give you advancements so um most like the Old Dungeons and Dragons days in terms of you're buying stuff
that stays in that game inside of that world so it's like a closed economy and uh yeah it is close but if you could
make that transferable and you could have that yeah that that's that's sort of the Holy Grail and when people talk
about interoperability that's what they're referring to it's a conky word it's not a great word but the notion is
that if I buy you know something that's useful or cool in one world a one game world I should be able to bring that
stuff with me because I'm the one who bought it it belongs to me a lot of people also think that you know
blockchain technology is is going to be a key here and that you can sort of certify your digital ownership of
something I'm a huge skeptic because I mean the
point being that it can also let you get around the platform walls the walls yeah
you know I get the vision I totally get the vision but uh anybody who's designed a game before and I've designed a bunch
will know that every every Implement like the that every item that's useful
or stylish in the world has a certain point value inside of an RPG system that's pertinent to that particular game
you can't just rip that element out you always hear this from people who don't know what they're talking about they'll say oh you can buy us a magic sword in
one game and use it in another no you can't there's no such thing there's no there's no way to transfer that across
we have something we never had before we have generative AI yeah yeah so the idea
that you're proposing is that now games like the one that Brendan Green's thinking about building this sort of
planetary game uh would have some sort of AI translator so something like a
mid-journey at the entrance against you bring all your inventory and it says okay in this world there's a there's an
equivalent it's almost like you know the the the place used to go to do a money exchange when you went from one European
country to another you Tran you change your Deutsche marks into Franks or rubles or whatever this will change your
your elements from one game into useful items in another game that makes sense to me I could see that I don't know if
people would agree with the average tree uh the the the the switching price there but nevertheless that that makes sense
you can like trade in your gear uh because right now people are doing it illegally right they create our exchanges outside of the games where
they can transfer characters and so forth I mean even with uh even worse for gamers you know when when these games uh
run out of steam and they shut down then their investment of 10 years into a character or something just disappears
it's gone that's right that's a total waste uh well that was a pretty sweeping answer you gave us a minute ago you
managed to cover things like VR augmented reality artificial intelligence and the metaverse and you
did it all in about five minutes wow yeah that's correct it's fantastic so
let's let's get real sci-fi then to finish out the show Dean so um I want
you to put on your your gamer hat and I want you to um go at 20 or 30 years and and you know
tell us what you think the gaming um you know a gaming experience or gaming will be like uh you know in 20 or
30 years well I uh I would give a lot of credit to Matthew ball for writing the
metaverse book and I think that he gets a lot of things right about like what should a metaverse be and uh I I kind of
laugh when a lot of people say that hey we've already tried the metaverse right it's uh It came it went it didn't work
and it was second life right and uh uh second second life didn't have the
graphics Fidelity or the um Speedy interaction or the real-time
nature of of uh movement uh to it uh that you would expect to see and so when
when I hear people say that I say no the metaverse hasn't been tried yet it's it's one of those things where if you
cross over certain uh technology thresholds uh then you then it becomes
possible and so what I would look forward to is having the equivalent of the Star Trek Holodeck where you could
instantly just like that you know change from one world to another or have a world generated that to me looks like
reality right I mean I can't tell it apart from a simulation and uh or tell
it apart from The Real World really and um it feels like then then we're in a a
world that could be described as a real metaverse right fantastic yeah
um I I mean as a as a gamer that has spent the the vast majority of my life
in gaming um you know I I do you do look at these Technologies and and you're you know as
a futurist I'm hungry for this Tech you know I'm I'm looking forward for this Tech to be able to enhance these uh
gaming experiences you know um just even uh seeing things like you know as I've mentioned um you know Gabe
Newell but the half-life uh Alex adaption adaptation into
um you know the the VR space it was pretty decent you know pretty decent effort there it just it showed some real
potential for for the VR space in terms of gaming that I'm I'm hugely excited
about but it it it's also um compute power capabilities you know what computers can do in terms of rendering
graphics and stuff like that um you know if you look at the new Unreal stuff as you mentioned it's been used in uh
production for series like the Mandalorian and others I mean it's get you know this stuff is getting
indistinguishable from The Real World you know in terms of Graphics capability
abilities it's it's a pretty exciting time to be alive if you're a gamer frankly
exactly yeah I agree yeah a little heartedly yeah so so what what gay what
games do you play Dean in your spare time oh uh I I play a lot of shooter games
I've played Call of Duty war zone uh and war zone two uh I uh got into uh playing
that because uh it was the middle of the pandemic and there was nobody to talk to in real life uh you know and and yet I
could get on and uh get into a a quad group with uh a few friends and you know
we could chat with each other while we were hunting down other other teams and in war zone too in Warzone so uh so I
think I spent a lot of time doing that I play each weekend with my son he lives
in Australia you know and I'm either in the states or in Thailand and that's how we hang out on the weekends together we
we play in Roblox mostly um and yeah it's uh it it keeps our
relationship really strong actually so gaming is an important part of uh our
our uh our family Dynamic actually yeah that's wonderful well that's a touching
note let's uh let's it's probably time for us to bring the show to an end uh Dean I want to thank you very much for
joining us on the show you've given us a more interesting and frankly more fun view of the metaverse than several of
the other guests um people talk about metaverse for productivity and work and it just doesn't sound as much fun as the kind of
game focused metaverse that you're talking about makes that seem more plausible to me as well
um how can people find you on the web where's the best way to to find out more about what you're writing and what games you're playing I'm a Dean tech on
Twitter and uh gamespeat.com is where a lot of my stories are as well as venturebeat.com for for Tech stories um
and uh and yeah that's uh that's what I read for it we also uh do our uh
gamesbeat Summit events in person uh every few months uh we've got another one coming up uh May 22nd and 23rd in
Los Angeles right on all right well Dean Takashi thank you very kindly for joining us on
the futurist this week I want to thank my business partner and colleague Brett King who always manages to join no
matter where in the world he's globetrotting to next our producer Kevin hershon and Elizabeth Severance and the
rest of the crew at provoke media these are the folks that make the show possible we thank you very much and of
course I want to thank the listeners and subscribers to the program who've been listening and building arts and building support for the show I've been getting
some great feedback recently from people who've been listening surprising I'm getting news from people who are
listening closely and they they find some of the comments contentious and they love to get into it and that's really fun to hear about so please don't
hesitate to reach out to us on socials we'd be very happy to hear from you there uh and for everyone who's
listening uh if you do enjoy the show please don't forget to help other people find it the audience has been growing
quickly and that's really gratifying and it's because people like you are sharing it with their friends they're sharing it
they're reposting it they're they're giving us five star reviews on all the podcasting platforms and that really
AIDS Discovery and makes it possible for new people to find the show we appreciate that very very much and of
course every week we'll be back with another person who's exploring inventing defining Reinventing the future in their
own terms this is the most fun project and I'm thrilled to share it with you and Brett thanks a lot for joining us
and making it possible to do this show Dean it's always a pleasure to see you thank you very much Rob thanks Fred and
we will see you in the in the future
[Music] well that's it for the futurists this week if you like the show we sure hope
you did please subscribe and share it with people in your community and don't forget to leave us a five star review
that really helps other people find the show and you can ping us anytime on Instagram and Twitter at futurist
podcast for the folks that you'd like to see on the show or the questions that you'd like us to ask
thanks for joining and as always we'll see you in the future [Music]

Related Episodes