Multiverse Network

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The Multiverse Network, Inc.
Type Private
Industry Online Games
Founded July 2004
Headquarters Mountain View, California, USA
Key people

Bill Turpin, Co-founder & CEO
Rafhael Cedeno, Co-founder & CTO
Corey Bridges, Co-founder, Executive Producer and Marketing Director

Robin McCollum, Co-founder & Principal Engineer, Client Technology
Website www.multiversemmo.com

The Multiverse Network, Inc. was an American startup company creating a network and platform for Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs) and 3D virtual worlds. Multiverse's stated aim was to lower the barrier of entry for development teams by providing a low-cost software platform for online game and virtual world development.

In 2009, the company extended its development platform to support Flash[1] and built a series of real-time multiplayer games to demo the technology. As part of the worldwide marketing effort behind James Cameron's AVATAR film, Multiverse built two Flash-based games,[2] one with McDonald's and another with Coca-Cola Zero. Both games allow players to explore Pandora, where much of the film takes place.

In late 2011, Multiverse closed from lack of profits, releasing the source code to The Multiverse Foundation, a non-profit group of volunteers who are presently updating the Platform.[3]

Technology[edit]

Multiverse provided technology known as MMOG middleware (Multiverse used the term platform). It included the client software Multiverse World Browser (for Microsoft Windows only), a server suite, development tools, sample assets, documentation, and a developer community. The goal was to provide consumers/users with a single client program that let them visit all of the virtual worlds built on the Multiverse Platform. From the consumer point of view, this enabled a de facto network of virtual worlds.

Like RealmForge, the Multiverse World Browser was written in C#, and based on the Axiom Engine. The Multiverse server suite was written in Java and used a publish/subscribe messaging system to provide reliability and scalability. The server also provided a plug-in API. The Windows-based tools used the COLLADA data interchange format, to enable artists to import 3D assets from popular tools such as Maya, 3D Studio Max, and Google SketchUp.

Business model[edit]

Multiverse provided its technology platform cost-free for development and deployment. Income came through revenue-sharing; Multiverse took a share of any payments made by consumers/users to the world developer. If a developer provided a world for free (or free for a period of time), Multiverse did not charge anything. When a developer started charging consumers/users, Multiverse took a share (10 percent), and also handled the financial transaction processing. Development teams hosted their own servers and retained 100 percent of their world's IP.

James Cameron joined the company's board of advisors, and Red Herring magazine selected it as one of the "Red Herring 100" privately held companies that play a leading role in innovating the technology business.

In December, 2006, Multiverse announced that it had optioned the rights to develop an MMOG based on Firefly, the science fiction television series [1]. In 2008, a Buffy and Titanic MMO were announced [2]. None of them ever came to fruition.

Open Source[edit]

After closing shop, the Multiverse Network released its code as open source under the MIT License. It is now managed by the Multiverse Foundation [3], a world-wide non-profit organization.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Multiverse Unleashes New Era of Online Gaming". Retrieved 21 December 2009. 
  2. ^ "Multiverse's Remix Makes it Easy to Create AVATAR Spinoff Games". Retrieved 21 December 2009. 
  3. ^ "Cash-strapped Firefly MMO developer Multiverse closes (January 4, 2012)". Retrieved 9 December 2012.