What the Metaverse Means to Spire

The metaverse is a virtual world that enables people to explore, play, socialize, learn, and work – often beyond what is possible in our physical reality.

It is an exciting time in the evolution of the metaverse. Advancements in hardware (GPUs, displays, headsets, etc.) and software (real-time rendering, AI/ML-based infrastructure and content engines, etc.) are enabling a variety of companies to aggressively build out the metaverse. Gaming companies are pushing immersiveness through high-quality, often hyperrealistic, play-based experiences. Big Tech is investing in technologies to propel collaboration through socialization and work. And Web3 players are opening up access to the blockchain metaverse.

We believe that in 10-15 years the foundational, yet disparate, experiences built by these companies will connect and come together in a unified metaverse. We envision a mainstream realization of the metaverse happening as a result of highly immersive, narrative-based experiences where people can authentically engage with characters and worlds.

In partnership with Epic Games, we are helping to build this future. Our animated feature films, produced using Epic’s Unreal Engine, will usher in a new way for audiences to interact with their favorite movies and characters beyond the big screen in the metaverse.

What is Meta-Distribution

Spire’s initial goal with exploring real-time technologies was to create a more intimate, intuitive production pipeline. In a traditional animation workflow, it is difficult to make changes in real time. Most animation processes follow a straightforward, assembly line-like path of execution. However, real-time rendering through Epic’s Unreal Engine enables instantaneous change and feedback, giving more control, efficiency, and freedom to the creative team. At Spire we are combining traditional, real-time, and cloud-based technologies to create a next-generation feature animation pipeline.

This concept allowed us to take the next step and develop the second component of our vision – creating assets for the metaverse with a focus on meta-distribution. These assets are transmedia by nature, meaning they can simultaneously be ported into interactive experiences, such as virtual reality, augmented reality, and games, as opposed to waiting years for development. We can concurrently activate these different experiences and create an immediate opportunity for audiences to engage well beyond the film.

Check out what our team has to say about how the real-time animation pipeline process is changing animation and how this workflow is opening up new opportunities in Epic’s Animation Field Guide.

Why We Believe This is the Future

We believe audiences will experience linear content in the theater or at home and then want to immediately dive into those stories. From live concerts and sporting events to NFTs and virtual merchandise, we are seeing a growing appetite for people wanting to interact in the metaverse.

Picture a world where you can watch the movie and instead of waiting one or two years for new content to roll out, you can automatically jump into the metaverse and become the main character, watch the movie from a different angle, or even walk around the movie set.

And Spire’s metaverse won’t stop there. We are building out a highly social, immersive, and collaborative world that will allow people to interact without having to physically go to a theater or leave their home.

Today, you may see a movie with a few friends at your local theater. In our metaverse, you can watch the film inside a virtual theater with countless friends that live anywhere in the world. Celebrating a birthday? Invite as many people as you want and host a movie watch party in the metaverse. Have you always wanted to attend a red carpet premiere? By stepping into the metaverse, you’ll be able to walk alongside your favorite stars for the night. These technological capabilities will have a long-term, transformative effect on storytelling; the possibilities are truly limitless.

How Meta-Distribution Leads to Storyliving

Meta-distribution creates a bridge between the real world and the metaverse for next-generation storytelling where audiences engage creatively and socially with the story. We call this “storyliving.” High-quality visuals, sophisticated mechanics and great stories lend to this advanced interaction, which can include activations such as:

  • Cosmetics: Limited-edition skins and costumes; customizable characters
  • Experiences: Exclusive access to “bloopers;” concerts; trailer launch parties
  • Immersive Worlds: The movie’s “world” built out and explored; interactive games

By working with our partners to create these concurrent experiences, tied to our animated feature film franchises, we are offering something no one has done before in the entertainment industry.

What It Means to Be Storyliving

Storyliving allows the audience to authentically engage socially and creatively with the films’ stories and connect to these virtual worlds. Spire’s aim is to immerse audiences in a story-driven, compelling experience that isn’t possible in the physical world.

We are creating a metaverse that will span ages and cultures. Just like our four-quadrant films can be enjoyed by young and old alike, our virtual worlds will offer something for everyone. Spire’s innovative and thoughtful approach to the metaverse means parents and children, friends, and people from around the globe will be able to share in one-of-a-kind experiences.