Players will now be able to engage in commerce and more activities in Bunch’s metaverse, which aims to keep them coming back for longer periods of time and entice them to participate in more activities.
When it comes to basic functions like playing games with each other and staying connected, Bunch will still be able to perform them. A lightweight metaverse, Bunch allows you to communicate with others through animated avatars rather than just video chat.
Based out of New York City A real-time social network for playing multiplayer video games, Bunch debuted its video chat model at the end of 2017 as a means of bringing people together to play together. Jason Liang and Jordan Howlett, the co-founders of Selcuk Atli, wanted to re-create the fun they had at LAN parties, where a group of friends would gather in one group and play a variety of games together in one sitting.
When asked about Bunch’s vision in an interview with GamesBeat, CEO Atli said that it was timed perfectly with the onset of the pandemic. The audience swelled from tens of thousands to tens of millions during the lockdown.
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People are being linked together in a metaverse, which is a collection of interconnected virtual worlds, as in novels like Snow Crash and Ready Player One. More than 100,000 people use Bunch on a daily basis. During the second quarter, Bunch 2.0 beta testing is expected to begin. Something like Roblox, which has more than 50 million daily active users, is a lot smaller.
Although millions of people have been able to stay in touch with loved ones via video chat while playing games thanks to Bunch. For searches like “group video chat,” the app remains at the top of the list in most countries. In 2020, Supercell, Electronic Arts, Take-Two Interactive, Miniclip, and Ubisoft all contributed $20 million to the round.
Many users, according to Atli, host long-lasting Bunch parties, in which they invite their friends to join them while they work on homework, play games like Roblox, or simply hang out despite the fact that they are physically separated.
“The pandemic had a significant impact on our application.” And, like when [Epic Games] shut down House Party, many users who loved that experience moved over to ours,” said Atli. ” Bunch 2.0 has been in the works for the past year while the app has grown to allow people to video chat with their friends.
Metaverse as seen through the eyes of Bunch
Bunch CEO Selcuk Atli is a Turkish entrepreneur and philanthropist.
Bunch’s perspective on the metaverse is an appropriate topic for discussion at this point. A lot of people see technologies like augmented/virtual reality, blockchain, and cryptography as the building blocks of the metaverse. Yet in the view of Bunch’s metaverse, digital spaces and people in them will be brought together and people will be moved from one experience to another across application, company and platform walls. This is what Bunch believes will happen.
Atli asserted that the metaverse has already arrived based on this interpretation
Playing games like Roblox and Minecraft is a popular pastime for millions of people around the world every day. These applications provide unique user experiences tailored to their respective operating systems. If two players get together on Roblox, they can hop from one game to the next. The problem is that they can’t meet on Roblox to play Fortnite or Minecraft.
It’s possible that popular chat apps like Discord and Bunch, which allow players to party and move between different virtual worlds, are also metaverse applications. Examples of open-ended metaverses, however, are non-spatial. Atli explained that instead of a game-like environment, players are able to share their presence via text, voice, and video chat.
Finally, there are metaverse applications like The Sandbox and Decentraland, which have decentralised economies. OpenSea, for example, is an open exchange where players can sell or trade their in-game assets. These applications use the blockchain to make this possible.
A further advantage of decentralised economies is the ability of blockchain assets to have a broader range of applications. Thus, applications can provide value for blockchain assets that originate elsewhere. Using Oncyber.io, players can display their NFTs in their personal space by connecting their blockchain wallets, Atli said.
The latest version of the Bunch
New features in Bunch 2.0 allow you to designate your own area.
You can build a house and a room of your own with Bunch 2.0. Push a button, then switch to a gamepad and play your favourite game. If you prefer, you can also use traditional video conferencing.
You can get to know new people by hanging out with people you’re not already friends with, Atli explains. Spaces for your community, games, and clans can be created so that you can spatially connect with those people. It’s also possible to carry out tasks in a natural way in this environment. You can also join any other game out there,” he says.
As before, the company’s developer platform works as expected. Other games can now benefit from the convenience and social interaction that this adds. It’s possible to use blockchain technology in a way that Roblox can’t. In contrast to something like iTunes, you can buy a digital item and use it on multiple devices or take it with you from one experience to another. Atli referred to it as “extensible utility” rather than “universal interoperability.”
Furthermore, “Blockchain as it exists in the metaverse is more like Facebook Connect, where permission from a place like Facebook is not required.” This means that my wallet is linked to another application, which means that I own an asset. Without consulting the original creator, the application can decide to provide their own utility for an asset.
As a result, it’s done automatically. What the blockchain offers is a utility that can be expanded upon.
As a result, Atli believes that Bunch is uniquely positioned to deliver compelling value to players and developers alike by creating an integrated metaverse for gaming that has a spatial environment, where players embody 3D avatars and come together to explore virtual spaces. Like Discord, players can join a group and switch between their favourite games without leaving the app. Players own their in-game assets, and the economy is decentralised, making it easier to add new features.
It has been a year in the making, and now the company is launching it by invitation only. For a long time, Atli believed that video games were the next big social network. “Games are the new metaverse,” he’ll have to say now.
As of today, Bunch employs 37 people, a significant increase from its 20 employees at the beginning of 2020. He said that the team built Bunch 2.0 to accomplish the same goals as the original, but in a new way.
It’s “Roblox meets Discord and uses the blockchain,” he explained.
These metaverse applications are not spatial in nature. It’s possible for players to communicate with each other by using textures, voice chat, and video chat. These aren’t virtual worlds in which we can interact with 3D avatars that we control.
As Atli put it: “But they’re also cool because they’re open ended in terms of the experience or they’re not contained like Roblox.” If you want to play Minecraft or Among Us, you can meet on Discord.” It takes you on a journey that can go in any direction. And that’s essentially what we’re doing with Bunch 2.0.”
“What we can do today is basically respond to the things that people own,” said Atli.
Previously, the focus of the service was on video chats with friends. Atli, on the other hand, thinks it’s more fun if you can use avatars to express yourself and meet people you don’t know in a more natural setting.
“Video chatting with random strangers isn’t that much fun, but having your own digital space where you can interact with random strangers and move from game to game is a lot of fun. This is more enjoyable,” Atli stated.
Will NFTs be popular?
With Bunch 2.0, players can still easily form social gaming teams.
According to Atli, there are both supporters and detractors of blockchain-based nonfungible tokens (NFTs). Ubisoft, GSC Game World, and Team17’s responses to gaming NFTs show that this is already the case. Blockchain technology will be used to create a decentralised economy that provides true ownership and scalable utility.
You buy a skin for your character in games like Minecraft or Roblox or Fortnite and, in essence, you’re buying a licence from the developer. That’s what I mean by true ownership.” According to Atli, “we’re going to have blockchain collectibles that you can buy on Bunch.” If you own it, you can simply sell it on the open market. You are free to sell it to whomever you want. We have no say in the matter. Then you can say that you truly own something. This is also referred to as “extensible utility,” correct? We will allow other metaverse applications to make use of the assets we sell them. A Bunch collectible avatar, for example, can be used in another app if that app supports it. Alternatively, we’ll lend our support to well-known collections. Having a Sandbox asset could lead to Bunch allowing Sandbox avatars.”
Atli is confident that a variety of gamers will be willing to give it a shot.
A large number of people who have no interest in it are the ones we’re going after. As much as we believe in the potential of the blockchain, we are not putting all of our eggs in that basket just yet.” Because people will be able to claim ownership of their possessions if this method is successful, we believe it has great potential. And this could be a shared utility and cross-application interoperability. That, we believe, is incredibly potent.
Animated avatars are available in Bunch 2.0.
You can visit your friends in a demo of the metaverse. Before you can enter, you must knock on the door. Bunch lets you listen to music and play games with a gamepad.
Agreements between companies that provide each other with discounts are possible future scenarios. It’s possible, however, for this to happen on its own as well. Suppose a yacht club is situated next to a bar. The bar owner can tell if a person is a member of the yacht club based on their avatar identity, which says so. There is no need for an agreement between the yacht club owner and the bar’s owner if the member is a yacht club member. It’s a more convenient way to entice people to travel between worlds.
An “interoperable internet without permissions” is what Atli described. “These so-called bridges are a good place to start. As a result, software programmes decide to support the assets of third parties. And just like the World Wide Web, these bridges will become obsolete over time. They have the potential to become open standards. CNN.com does not require Firefox’s permission to launch a website.”