By Amy Thomson Worlds Adrift was supposed to be a multiplayer game like no other: think Minecraft meets Second Life. Released to some users in 2018, the virtual world promised to take immersive gaming to another level by using a new technology from SoftBank-backed wunderkind, Improbable Worlds Ltd. Players would build ships to explore a universe of floating islands created by other participants. Then last May its creator, Bossa Studios, said it was pulling the plug. “We fell way short of what the game’s original vision was,” Bossa co-founder Henrique Olifiers explained in a YouTube video. “What we have live today is probably perhaps 20% of the game that we wanted to launch, and it shows.” Worlds Adrift is one of at least three games using Improbable technology that were pulled last year—a setback for Improbable, which promised to revolutionize gaming by helping developers create complex worlds that rival the real one. There are many reasons games can fail, but two people familiar with the situation say Improbable is struggling in part because it surprised developers with frequent updates that forced game studios to spend more time fixing code than perfecting their products. Founded about seven years ago by Cambridge… Read full this story
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