Image for article titled Ready Player One Author Gives First Look at His Metaverse Battle Royale Game

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Earlier this year, author Ernst Cline announced that he would be launching a metaverse company. What made this deeply ironic was that Cline famously wrote Ready Player One, the popular science fiction novel about a dystopia where people escape the harsh realities of their world by plugging into a metaverse-like gaming environment. Now, as our own world gets increasingly dystopian, Cline’s company has teased the first gaming experience that will allow you to tune all that out and enjoy a little bit of digital escapism.

At SXSW this week, Cline’s company, Readyverse Studios, teased a first look at its new game, which its calling Open. The trailer for Open doesn’t give much away but does feature a lot of Ready Player One-type imagery:

OPEN | Official Teaser

The company has described Open as “the first genre-defining AAA metaverse gaming experience, interoperable with top-tier IP through web3 tech. A multi-biome, multi-IP, multi-mode battle royale experience, in development for PC and next gen platforms, will set the stage for the future of gaming.”

While most of that just sounds like corporate gobbledeegook to me, what can be deciphered is this: Open will probably be a game that you can play on both your computer and with a fancy AR/VR headset. The “multi-IP” part refers to the fact that soon other franchises will be integrating their own characters into the gameplay. Venture Beat, which covered the game’s announcement at SXSW this week, reports that Open’s “immersive multiverse will be filled with nostalgia-infused biomes featuring characters and cultural legends across iconic franchises.”

We previously argued that, by launching a metaverse company, Cline had essentially created his own “torment nexus.” While one would’ve presumed that his book was a cautionary tale about how virtual worlds can be used to divert and ensnare the masses, he now seems to busy doing just that. That said, maybe we could all use a little diversion now and then. If you’re excited to distract yourself from our current hellscape, Readyverse has made it known that their Open waitlist is now open. To jump on it, head to visitopen.game.

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