Keep taking big swings and you’re bound to miss, but lately, investment giant SoftBank has whiffed in truly spectacular fashion:
- Its Vision Fund had a rough last fiscal year — like, $32B in losses rough.
- It has ~$12B invested in troubled WeWork — where SoftBank’s handpicked CEO made New York Times headlines for “abandoning ship” last month.
- And Zume, SoftBank’s $375m mobile pizza-making robot, shut down after it couldn’t overcome a fatal flaw: cheese flying around whenever its trucks moved.
What’s next for SoftBank?
Oh, just hyping another big bet: a network of metaverses, the thing many other influential companies are retreating from.
SoftBank-funded Improbable detailed its upcoming project MSquared last week, which, according to CNBC, calls for a 3D virtual space where 10k+ people can concurrently live, work, and interact, with an emphasis on “interactive entertainment experiences,” like parties, games, and concerts.
- A chaotic demo video for MSquared shows people dancing en masse and a frantic, crowded auction for a statue of a goat.
What differentiates it?
MSquared will be available through cloud streaming, so it won’t require any software or, say, a $3.5k device to access it.
Improbable is courting partners to develop experiences — and if all goes according to plans, per CNBC, MSquared will be available via desktop, then eventually mobile devices and gaming consoles, by year-end.
So, uh, get ready to duke it out with 9.9k dancing friends at a virtual goat auction, we guess?
Some good news: It’ll be hard for Improbable to lose more money on the metaverse than Meta already has (its Reality Labs division lost $13.7B last year).
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