Reports said that Brendan “PlayerUnknown” Greene, the creator of “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” (commonly known as “PUBG”) has embarked on a metaverse project called Artemis.
It has been reported that Greene revealed new details about Artemis in Hit Points, a newsletter by video game journalist Nathan Brown. In 2019, the developer announced a new project after leaving the PUBG team: “Prologue,” an open-world survival game on a massive, 40-square-mile map.
However, in Tuesday’s edition of Hit Points, Greene told Brown that “Prologue” will ultimately be a tech demo for the even more ambitious Artemis, an Earth-size virtual sandbox.
The report said that companies in the tech world have expressed their ambitions to build the metaverse, the hypothetical next iteration of the internet that technologists surmise will be less like the text-based internet we have now, and closer to a digitized version of the real world. And Greene’s vision of the metaverse is a world owned and shared by everybody.
Likewise, PlayerUnknown Productions, the Amsterdam-based studio Greene founded to develop “Prologue” and Artemis, sounds more like a research and development lab than a game developer. Greene told Hit Points the staff includes nuclear physicists and mathematicians — decidedly not the sort of workers you might typically find on a video game team. But Artemis isn’t really a game in a traditional sense.
Greene described it as a decentralized interactive world where the inhabitants are free to make or play whatever they wish.
“I’m quite zealous about this. It has to be made a certain way. The only way this exists is if it’s made for everyone, and it’s not made for money.”
It’s a big vision that requires skilled management, which is why Greene brought on former Ubisoft Massive managing director David Polfeldt to the PlayerUnknown team as a senior adviser. The technology to create something like Artemis does not even exist yet. Making a 1:1 scale virtual Earth with thousands of people exploring its fully realized biomes is, currently, an impossible task.
The tools for crafting a metaverse mirror of Earth don’t exist yet, at least on a scale that is practical. That is why PlayerUnknown Productions has been singularly devoted to building a game engine, Melba, which will be propped up by machine learning.
Moreover, Building Artemis, Greene said, would require an absurd amount of labor for human engineers, but it may be doable for an AI capable of churning out an entire planet’s worth of trees, plants, valleys, rivers and mountains at a relentless pace. It may also be able to populate Artemis with animals and even human NPCs that behave and interact in realistic ways — as long as the AI is built well and fed the right data.
Greene told Hit Points that his studio has already filed several patent applications for some of the tech it has developed, and he shared a little about how it works.
“We’ve created some new knowledge here: mapping terrain, populating it with trees and assets, inserting artist-made locations into that terrain. And that’s all done generatively, as you move through the world.”
Thus, Greene has remained open to using blockchain technology. Since anyone in Artemis can create whatever or do whatever they want, Greene said, they will need some way to verify proof of ownership or some sort of currency to exchange for providing a service.