Hey, remember PlayerUnknown? As in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds or PUBG to your friends? Yeah, well Brendan Greene, aka PlayerUnknown, has provided details surrounding his latest gaming project, codenamed “Artemis,” which aims to be an open-source Earth-sized virtual environment supporting hundreds of thousands of players that can make or play whatever they want.
Here’s the rub, though. Greene also wants users to be able to monetize what they make, essentially turning all user-generated content into NFTs. In an interview with Nathan Brown on the Hit Points newsletter, Greene mentions, “We’re building a digital place that has to have an economy, and it has to have systems at work. And I do believe you should be able to extract value from a digital place; it has to be like the internet, where you can do stuff that will earn you money.”
In the same interview, Greene stressed that he wants the entirety of Artemis to remain an open-source piece of technology, saying, “It’s for everyone, right? It shouldn’t ultimately be controlled by us. It’ll be a platform that we participate in the maintenance of, maybe, but it’s something that anyone can plug into, and everyone can host a bit of themselves.”
Let’s put aside the whole NFT thing for a hot second and talk about how Greene plans to make a world this big. The engine powering Artemis, named Melba, is being developed in-house at Greene’s development studio, PlayerUnknown Productions. Because the goal with Artemis is to have a massive procedurally generated world, it’s understandable that no current game engine would be up to the task. Built foremost for scalability, Melba is designed to build a world using AI that would normally require a team of artists to accomplish.
About a year ago, PlayerUnknown Productions showed off a 30-second teaser for Prologue, a game meant to serve as a tech demo showcasing Melba’s capabilities.
On paper, the goals of Artemis are incredibly ambitious, and while I like the idea of users getting compensated for their contributions, I can’t help but feel an equal sense of dread and wonder when I think about who is going to moderate a marketplace of such an impressive scale. If our synopsis has piqued your interest, you can head over to the PlayerUnknown Productions website to learn more about Artemis, Prologue, and Melba.
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