The book was written by metaverse luminaries Cathy Hackl, chief metaverse officer of the Futures Intelligence Group; Dirk Lueth, co-CEO of Upland; and Tommaso DiBartolo, scholar at the University of California at Berkeley. Is it all a bunch of hype? Do we need cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to get there?

It’s one of multiple books in the works to help explain what companies like Meta, Epic Games, Roblox and more are gunning for as they prepare to move into the next generation of computing.

The authors believe the metaverse is the next technology inflection point akin to the Internet and social media
– creating new commercial opportunities for those willing to pioneer. They believe that the metaverse economy is unique in that decentralized app (dApp) operators, users, and businesses come together to form tokenomics that are mutually beneficial to all. They believe consumers will participate in community and brand-building that will make them into more like partners and creators of user-generated content.

I talked to them about the opportunities and some of the risks around the metaverse, like whether gamers are really going to go for NFTs. I also asked them about the concerns people have about decentralization, the open metaverse vs. closed ecosystems, and some of the hucksterism involved. The book features a forward by Yat Siu, executive chairman of Animoca Brands.

GamesBeat: How long ago did you start on this project? What was the mission?

Dirk Leuth: We started back in the summer sometime, June or July. That was the first time we thought about it. We wanted to get the ideas out. We saw all these companies, especially brands, coming in and saying, “We’ve heard about the metaverse. What’s it about? Can you educate us?” We thought about doing something small at the time, because we were all engaged with Upland. Maybe do a small ebook, one or two chapters. Then Tommaso, Cathy, and I started brainstorming. All of a sudden we had so many topics to cover. It wasn’t just one ebook worth of ideas that people could download with their email. It looked like a real book.

We started adding more and more content to it. Then the publisher came around and said they were super interested in publishing the book. That’s how it came together. We focused on it during the months of November and December, getting the book done.

GamesBeat: Was there anything you could look to for a point of comparison or inspiration? It doesn’t feel like there are that many metaverse books out there.

Cathy Hackl: We were early on. There weren’t a lot of resources out there just yet. One reason we wrote the book was to help educate others and share some of the knowledge that the three of us, in our different ways, had garnered. We saw it as an opportunity to educate and help answer some questions that we were getting asked all the time. We weren’t so focused on inspiring ourselves through other literature. We wanted to educate people moving forward. Who knows? Our book might become an inspiration for other books.


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