Last year Raph Koster, MMORPG veteran (UO, SWG), founded a company after leaving SOE to make his own vision of an MMOG come true. The company (Areae) just announced what the have been working on for the last year and what they will be working on until next spring's beta: Metaplace.

Metaplace is a collection of virtual worlds, which can be built easily based on Areae's tools and third party tools. The worlds can be linked to create a big meta-world where avatars will be able to move between worlds. It's all built on web technologies: the worlds can be embedded into web pages, e.g. your myspace profile, components are web components loaded from URLs, worlds are web servers and objects are web objects represented by URLs. In short: Web 2.0 meets MMOGs.

You wont need the equivalent of Second Life or World Of Warcraft clients installed on your machine, youll just need Metaplace. Anyone will be able to make an online world in five minutes, and dropping in and out of different online spaces will be as easy as surfing web pages. Its Internet 2.0

The two facts that these worlds can be embedded into web pages and that avatars move between worlds puts the whole thing into the vitual presence neighborhood. Also interesting: already known was that Charles River Ventures and Crescendo Ventures put money into Areae. Charles River Ventures has a big fund and since Raph Koster already proved that he can build commercially successful MMOGs, I suspect, that Areae got a decent amount of money. Something you can really work with and hopefully enough to build the next generation of open MMOGs. But money is not all you need.

BTW: this seems to be the month of web based virtual worlds and virtual world creation tools. See the previous news entry.

Charles River Ventures
Crescendo Ventures

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