eady Player Me recently closed a $13 million Series A funding round led by VC fund Taavet+Sten. With the recent backing, the cross-game avatar platform plans to optimize the avatar system for developers. They will also create features that help developers monetize with avatars through in-game assets and NFTs.
Ready Player Me was created by the company Wolf3D and makes it possible for users to build avatars they can import into more than 900 compatible metaverse games and apps. The virtual human avatar generator also gives developers an easy-to-use tool for building avatar-based experiences.
“Your passport to the metaverse. The metaverse is coming. And it won't be a single app – there will be thousands of them. Create your avatar and explore virtual worlds with one consistent identity. It's your passport to the metaverse. We spent seven years building the perfect avatar system, so you don't have to. Integrate Ready Player Me into your product in less than a day. For free.” — Ready Player Me
We had the pleasure of speaking with Timmu Tõke, CEO of the team behind Ready Player Me, about the big news and his plans for the future.
“Our mission is to build a more connected metaverse by building virtual avatars that are portals and travel between many virtual worlds,” Timmu tells us.
Without any skills or previous experience in 3D creation, anyone can manually design an avatar by uploading or taking a picture of themselves and using the customization tools available through the Ready Player Me platform. Once satisfied with their virtual appearance, users can take their avatars into many virtual experiences and navigate the open metaverse, showing off their digital personality without worrying about character creation at every step of the way.
“With the capital we will create the best avatar system for developers across the metaverse. We will build out custom content creation tools, invest in avatar art through additional styles and body types, and improve avatar performance,” Timmu says.
So far, the metaverse is experienced through NFTs and blockchain, virtual reality events, augmented reality filters on social media, online games like Fortnite and Roblox, and worlds like Decentraland or Sandbox. These digital worlds are not fully interconnected yet; but, by allowing users to build their own avatars and easily import them into metaverse games and apps, Ready Player Me is at the forefront of bridging these disparate worlds.
Best of all, users won’t have to create avatars from scratch each time they wish to enter a new virtual experience. This will enhance our ability to see our avatars as true extensions of ourselves, helping us grow emotionally invested in them and ultimately strengthening our bond with our virtual selves in a virtual landscape. We will buy clothes and other items for our avatars, and these belongings will travel with us across the metaverse, helping to create a more unified experience along the way.
The Ready Player Me avatars come in two versions: VR and full-body, as most avatars in VR only have a head, torso, and hands. The technology that builds them is a deep learning solution that predicts how to shape faces from a single selfie, replicating one’s physical appearance as closely as possible.
“We started off with very limited options and started listening to what people requested the most. Our goal is to make avatar creation fun. We want to give everyone the opportunity to create an avatar they love and can identify with,” Timmu says.
With our virtual representations entering the metaverse and interacting with other Ready Player Me avatars, it’s easy to imagine users may want to start developing them into virtual influencers. Virtual worlds could be the next place for virtual influencers to blossom, expanding beyond social media and boosting the interaction we have with our virtual selves.
One thing is certain: As Ready Player Me aims to connect virtual worlds, the key to unlocking the full, immersive experience of the metaverse will be avatars.
How do you want to interact with the metaverse in the future? What do you want to express through your avatar?