Ten Ton Hammer: 

style="font-weight: bold;">Corey: Look out for
the GPDs!  And we're not anti-GPD, we just want them in the
right place.  You don't want them in a kid's world, for God's

Ten Ton Hammer: 
You want them restricted.

style="font-weight: bold;">Corey:
Yes!  It's like the Web at large.  There are kid's
sites and there are adult sites.  The critical thing is just
to keep them separate.  So, we're going to have that solved.

Ten Ton Hammer: 
Let's talk about Firefly.

style="font-weight: bold;">Corey: Hmmm, I wish
I could.  

Ten Ton Hammer: 
Is there anything new?

style="font-weight: bold;">Corey: Nothing that
I can announce.  

style="margin: 10px; border-collapse: collapse; float: right; width: 148px; height: 185px;"

title="AGDC Pictures 012"> src="/image/view/11738/preview"

Cody gestures while
Corey looks on. They're probably talking about GPDs.

Ten Ton Hammer: 
Do you have a developer yet?

style="font-weight: bold;">Corey: Nothing that
I can announce. (laughing)  Believe me, it is killing me.

Ten Ton Hammer: 
People are drooling.

style="font-weight: bold;">Corey: I'm drooling
- I drool on  a daily basis.  I can't say anything,
I'm sorry.  There are a lot of players in this, and there are
contractually legal issues about what can be said and what
can't.  I wish I could say more.

Ten Ton Hammer: 
When do you think the consumer release will be?  Do you have
any estimate or timetable?

style="font-weight: bold;">Corey: You know, I
used to be able to say that kind of stuff, but now I'm not even
supposed to say that anymore.  You can go back and see what I
said a few months ago.  I think I can say that. 
Hollywood's weird.  I'll just sum it up:  Hollywood's
weird.  And we're fairly plugged in to Hollywood. 
James Cameron, the movie director, is on our board of advisors, along
with John Landau.  They're awesome, great guys.  

But the rest of Hollywood is kinda nuts.  To me, it's
wonderful that guys like that, who are really top of their game and top
of their craft, arguably the best filmmakers in the world, are really
interested in this new medium.  Certainly from an
entertainment perspective, but also in a larger use-case.  We
met with them just last week.  The ideas they've got and the
directions they want to go is cool.  Which again, that's a
content free set of sentences I've given you.  I keep hoping
there's something I can say - oh I can't say this, I can't say that -

style="font-weight: bold;">Ten Ton Hammer:  It
makes for an interesting read anyway.  How about a commercial
release for the Multiverse platform?  When are the games going
to be available to consumers?

style="font-weight: bold;">Corey: I'd say
certainly next year.  Some of the games are going to go into
beta this year.  I think Dark Horizons Universe by MaxGaming
Technologies and Forgotten Legends by Doomsburg, either later this year
or early next year are going to go into wide public beta. 
I'll have to check with those guys to see what their release schedule
is.  You really should come take a look at the booth tomorrow.

Ten Ton Hammer: 
You're going to be able to find your own place to go if you're a
consumer, find your own niche game.  

style="font-weight: bold;">

style="font-weight: bold;">Corey:
Exactly.  We're really enabling the whole long-tail idea for
games.  It just hasn't been economically feasible for that in
the past.  It was just too expensive.  It was this
real blockbuster movie mentality economics, where you had to spend a
whole lot, and it then had to be a huge mainstream success so you could
recoup all that investment.  Now, with Multiverse, the
economics are so changed that you can afford to build something that
you are truly yourself interested in or passionate in, and sure enough
there's going to be other people in the world who are interested in
that same niche or whatever that is.  That'll be very
exciting, when we start seeing a lot of these worlds come onto the
Multiverse network this year and next.

Ten Ton Hammer: 
I think so too.  As far as the content that goes up on
Multiverse, are you guys looking at that and seeing if it
"Multiverse-quality", if it has the "Multiverse Seal of Approval"?

style="font-weight: bold;">Corey: Good
point.  We will probably have some kind of "seal of approval"
that we will grant, bestow, whatever the proper non-annoying verb is,
onto the best games on our platform.  Because consumers, when
they get the World Browser, are going to say "which ones are the good
games?".  The whole problem with the Internet - why Yahoo and
Google exist - is that 95% of everything on the Internet it is
crap.  You're like "how do I find the good stuff? 
Oh, I look at a search engine."  It's entirely possible
there's going to be that same ratio on Multiverse.  So it's
going to be critically important to bring the good stuff to consumers
right from the very beginning.  So we're always going to have,
I'm sure, recommendations for games to play.  We're going to
have things like collabrative filtering, which is a functionality where
you play a certain number of games...

style="font-weight: bold;">Ten Ton Hammer:  Kinda
like Tivo.

style="font-weight: bold;">Corey:
Yeah.  Basically the World Browser will say "I notice you
played this game.  People who played that game also enjoyed
these games."  The same with the Internet.  Your
friends can send you URLs.  It'll be the same thing with
Multiverse.  You'll be able to send URLs to friends, and
there'll be that kind of filtering as well.  But the question
of merchandising:  bringing just the right product, as it were
- the right world or game - to the right consumer is going to be a
critical thing.  Because there will probably be a lot of
crap.  But that's part of the "let a million flowers bloom"
approach that we're taking.  Generally speaking, we don't
police people's content.  They build it themselves, in
private, and they host it wherever they want.  Then of course,
when they want that to go and be a public thing they have to register
it with our network essentially.  But even then, it's not like
we're publishers.   

Ten Ton Hammer: 
I guess my only worry is that if all the first games are not games that
you would want to represent Multiverse.

style="font-weight: bold;">Corey: That's a
thing that we've been very aware of.  I guess Worlds in
Progress is kind of the first step in that.  The games that
we're making available through Worlds in Progress right now are ones
that we have actually visited.  There are other games out
there, other worlds, that are not in Worlds in Progress because they're
uninteresting or not all that useful to people.  More than
perhaps any other company,  we depend on our customers'
success for us to be successful.  If we're building a platform
and a network, there have got to be these top-quality, great,
interesting things.  It's not like we're selling somebody
technology or tools, throwing it over a wall, and saying "great, have
fun, good-bye, see you later".  We only succeed if our
customers succeed.  So that's why we have good relationships
with a few dozen of our most promising developers.  

Ten Ton Hammer: 
The sky's the limit?

style="font-weight: bold;">Corey: *with sarcasm
dripping from his voice* Unlimited upside! (laughs) We do have a highly
leveraged business.  We're not doing the hosting, we're not
laying cable.  We build software, put it out there on the Web,
and we run a little bit of this infrastructure for this
network.  But our customers, the world developers, host their
own worlds so we haven't got much in the way of expenses. 
Retail boxes, that stuff's expensive.  There's a high cost of
goods on that stuff.  So I'd love to wait on that until people
are banging down our door demanding that.  Then we'll cut a
deal with somebody to do the packaging.  

Ten Ton Hammer: 
Unlimited upside?

style="font-weight: bold;">Corey: I love that,
"unlimited upside".  That's certainly a very credible thing to
say.  What could possibly sound ridiculous about
that?  (laughing)  We actually did have that as a
joke.  We ended up not getting venture capital.  We
met with a number of VCs over the last few years and we ended up
instead going with angels.  The difference is that venture
capitalists are these institutional organizations and angels are
basically just rich entrepeneurs.  It is someone who, for one
reason or another, has a lot of money and they just cut you a personal
check essentially.  As opposed to a venture capitalist where
you have a whole board of people.  Having been at Netscape in
the early days I've got a lot of buddies who are now VCs.  I
have no problem with VCs.  But the terms that VCs generally
wanted for us were not acceptable, as opposed to the terms that angels
were happy with.  So we ended up doing our first round of
funding that was entirely angel-based.  You get a half-million
over there, a quarter million over there, and soon it adds up to real

Ten Ton Hammer: 
I'll take a quarter million!  (laughing)

style="font-weight: bold;">Corey: It's a funny
thing, that we didn't need to do the VC route, which is nice. 
So when we were talking to VCs, we had this joke around the company
that we would just go in and say "Unlimited upside!", walk out, and see
if they bite.  "Unlimited upside.  Did we mention
unlimited upside?"  But I think it could be huge, anyway.

Ten Ton Hammer: 
I think you've got a great idea.  How much are you guys going
to continue working on the Multiverse client once it is out
there?  It it going to continually grow?

style="font-weight: bold;">Corey: It's not just
unlimited upside, there's unlimited work we can do to make the client
and the server better.  I'll give you an example. 
Our technology is such that it's very extensible.  You can
customize it and do radically different things with it than anybody
else might be doing.  It's a very modular system which uses
what we call a plug-in architecture.  You can change how one
set of features work and it doesn't ripple through and break all this
other stuff.  That's important if you want to build something
that's unique and different from what other people are doing. 
You can build just all sorts of wild stuff.  We actually
provide a lot of these plug-ins.  There's a default combat
plug-in, there's a default trading plug-in.  

Using combat as an
example, you can say the default fits your conception of combat
perfectly, or you can say you want something different.  We
provide source code for all those plug-ins.  You can throw it
out entirely and say:  "in my game, combat is completely
different.  It's psychic, or it's social
status-based".  Right now we have a movement plug-in that
makes it easy to build a games that are based on running around on
terrain, or maybe flying or swimming, but there's always an absolute
"up" and a "down".  As opposed to, say, a 3D game where there
is no absolute "up" or "down".  You could build that on
Multiverse today, but if you wait until version 2.0 of that platform
we'll have a plug-in that makes it a lot easier.  We'll do a
lot of that work for 3D movement with relative "up" and
"down".  That's the sort of thing that we're going to keep
doing, keep enhancing the platform both server side and client
side.  There's years and years and years of work we can do to
make this even better.  We're off to a good start, but
certainly we can be as busy as we want to be for as long as we want to

Ten Ton Hammer: 
You mentioned version 2.0.  Are you worried that changes to
the plug-in inteface in future versions might cause headaches for

style="font-weight: bold;">Corey: It is
important to be backward-compatible with a platform like
this.  Much more complex, but the same sort of thing that we
dealt with at Netscape.  If you have version 1.0 of the client
and the server and somebody builds a Web site, then version 2.0 of the
client comes out, you want to still have it work with that existing
stuff.  Same proposition here.  We've got to keep our
stuff backward compatible, which is a challenge.  When we had
the initial idea for Multiverse four years ago, the four of us founders
literally spent eight months having lunch every week and working out
the structure of the architecture of the platform, and the
ramifications of the business model.  We spent eight months
doing that on a regular basis, often meeting multiple times in a
week.  Eight months before we incorporated, quit our jobs,
linked arms and jumped off the cliff together.  So it is going
to be a true platform, and the architecture is critical, and you want
to plan that stuff ahead of time.  It keeps you from having as
many headaches down the road if you put down a good base. 
Unlimited upside!

Thanks again to Corey for entertaining us with his interview and taking
the time to speak with Ten Ton Hammer!

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Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016