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When CCP Games needed someone to stage a gigantic, real-time space battle with 14,000 ships, they turned to Hadean. And that’s one of the reasons the UK startup raised $30 million.
London-based Hadean hopes to create the infrastructure for the metaverse, and it already supports virtual worlds in immersive entertainment and enterprise digital twins. (We’ll be discussing the topic of the real-time metaverse at our GamesBeat Summit Next 2022 event on October 25-26 in San Francisco).
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Hadean creates distributed, spatial, and scalable computing for Web 3.0 and the Metaverse. The distributed cloud platform is a software layer that enables scalability, security, and interoperability, enabling metaverse and digital immersive experiences for enterprise, enterprise, gaming, and government customers.
One of the current challenges is that advancements in computer chips and performance will not come easily now that Moore’s Law has slowed down. Jensen Huang, CEO of Nvidia, said Moore’s Law and the economic benefits that come from chip miniaturization are basically dead — just in time for the metaverse to arrive.
Keshani said Web3 and open architecture will likely be the foundations of the metaverse.
“We’re not going to have monopolies controlling this future,” she said. “We’re going to see weird and wonderful new business models supported by empowering the next generation of creators to build that future. And that’s what excites us. We don’t see ourselves as defining the metaverse. We are creating technology that enables capabilities to empower this creative economy to build it. We don’t know what it looks like. But we’re excited to work with partners like Epic who share that vision.
Molten Ventures led the financing, with participation from 2050 Capital, Alumni Ventures, Aster Capital,
Entrepreneur First and InQTel. The Series A round, plus an investment from Epic Games,
help Hadean develop the company’s scalable, interoperable, and secure metaverse capabilities.
As an open platform for distributed cloud computing, Hadean can be considered the
the “infrastructure” that powers the metaverse so it can become a reality, Hadean COO Mimi Keshani said in an interview with GamesBeat.
“We’ve created a platform for distributed computing, and we’ve built a number of applications that lend themselves very well to spatial computing,” Keshani said. “And that naturally lends itself very well to powering 3D virtual worlds even better. We cut our teeth in the gaming industry.”
The company debuted in 2015 and current management, led by Hadean CEO Craig Beddis, joined in 2017. After demoing with CCP in 2019, it was able to enter into a multi-year deal with Microsoft’s Minecraft.
“Hadean’s mission is to connect the physical and virtual worlds — to help us make better decisions and ultimately improve the quality of our lives in the physical world,” Beddis said in a statement. “Today’s virtual worlds are a limited experience – small scale, siled and insecure. That’s why, these are the technical challenges we are tackling today. But we believe that the true success and mass adoption of the Metaverse will depend on how easily creators can create their own experiences at scale, leveraging open and robust Metaverse technologies as a service. We are excited to work with industry leaders like Epic Games who share our philosophy and ambition for this reality.
Hadean has developed metaverse components and signed multi-year agreements in the entertainment field (Minecraft, Pixelynx, Sony and Gamescoin), as well as with digital twin providers for education and enterprise.
In 2019, Hadean demoed Unreal Engine to 14,000 players with EVE Online maker CCP Games.
“Hadean’s computing power will provide the necessary infrastructure as we work to create a
evolving metaverse,” said Marc Petit, vice president of Epic Games’ Unreal Engine ecosystem, in a statement. “The company’s technology complements Epic’s Unreal Engine by enabling large numbers of concurrent users and unlocking new tools for creators and developers. We are happy to contribute to
Hadean and we look forward to continuing to work together to lay the foundation for the Metaverse.
This real-time demonstration showed that the company’s infrastructure can support large numbers of concurrent participants in a virtual environment. This new wave of funding will accelerate Hadean’s ability to empower creators in new emerging metaverse markets to change every aspect of how we work, build, buy and consume.
Hadean is working with music metaverse creator Pixelynx, which wants to bring together thousands of people in virtual music concerts. He also works with the British Army on training simulations.
Keshani said Hadean is focusing on the core issues, including scale, where you need to reach players around the world. It also focuses on concurrent users, or the number of people you can fit into a virtual world space in real time. Keshani said the company has tools that allow its customers to support thousands of players in the same experience at once. Compare that to the hundred players you can typically find in a game like Fortnite. Hadean is also working on security.
Fixing latency or delays in interactions in applications like games is going to be a huge challenge for the metaverse.
“The latency is based on physical limits,” Keshani said. “The speed of light is not going to change. When we think of multi-thousand-player synchronous environments, we need to have a means of communication between the core simulation and anything closer to the periphery where people are playing games.
Hadean’s software sits near the edge and minimizes the information that reaches the end customer to keep speed high and bandwidth costs low.
“It’s about intelligently or smartly sharing the right information the customer needs in order to keep status up to date and ensure that messages are all reported in the right way, without overburdening them and giving them more information than they need and eventually crash and fall behind,” she said.
Rather than wrapper around an existing tech stack, Hadean redesigned the tech stack for the Web3 era, Keshani said. The game developer doesn’t care about scaling. They just write the game logic and Hadean will take care of the scaling in the cloud, Keshani said.
She thinks real-time metaverse technology isn’t far off. In fact, she thinks we have tons of computing power to run the metaverse. But we’re just not making effective use of it right now, she said.
“You really should only pay for the cloud spend you actually use,” she said.
Subspace tried to use alternate hardware and paths on the Internet to circumvent bottlenecks. But that turned out to be a costly solution, and Subspace went out of business. In contrast, Hadean’s goal is to work with customers on the infrastructure and help them use it more efficiently.
Current solutions wrap existing technology in order to scale applications, but that introduces a lot of complexity, Keshani said.
As for revenue, Hadean has generated over $10 million in revenue and hits 50,000 concurrent players in its scaling tests. The company employs 115 people.
As for the definition of the metaverse, Keshani thinks of a real-time persistent 3D virtual world with connections to the physical world.
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