The Open Metaverse Alliance for Web3 , otherwise known as OMA3, officially commenced with its operations today. First announced in July of this year, OMA3 already consists of several members including Animoca Brands , Dapper Labs , Decentraland and The Sandbox . Moreover, they have opened up membership applications to both for-profit and non-profit organizations alike, meaning if your project or business is all about Web3, you may just qualify. But what is this organization all about? What are their core values and guiding principles? And can they really stand up against corporate entities like Meta who seem to have their own plans for the Metaverse? Let’s find out!
A Free and Open Metaverse for All
The existence of the Metaverse is predicated on accessibility, fairness and openness, and this is exactly what OMA3 advocates. The alliance describes themselves as follows:
The Open Metaverse Alliance for Web3 (OMA3™) is a collaboration of Web3 metaverse platform creators. Our goal is to ensure virtual land, digital assets, ideas, and services are highly interoperable between platforms and transparent to all communities. OMA3™ is open to all Web3 metaverse builders.
By the sounds of things, OMA3 are the “good guys” who are trying to promote interoperability, transparency and all that good stuff that we need for decentralization and the realization of an open, interoperable internet and metaverse. It seems like a noble cause, and I’m sure that these principles resonate with the majority of people in the Web3 space, and possibly even those outside of it as well. However, I will politely point out that “interoperability” and “decentralization” are buzzwords I’ve heard for years, and while these are interesting concepts, I’m not entirely convinced they’ve been meaningfully achieved in any way as of yet. That said, attaining this goal is still something many organizations are committed towards, so until such time, may they all continue to fight the good fight.
But is this alliance really all that necessary? Well, given that many centralized tech companies such as Meta are vying to create their own version of the Metaverse and corner the market, the answer is a resounding “yes.” Whether we know it or not, we are at the start of a battle for the heart and soul of the Metaverse, and it’s a conflict that will likely play out over the next five to ten years.
Facing off Against Tech Giants
The creation of OMA3 is allegedly as a direct response to the Metaverse Standards Forum (MSF) that was formed by 35 big tech corporations such as Meta, Microsoft , Huawei and Intel in June of this year. But while they aren’t a principal member of the MSF, OMA3 is a participant member along with a number of different organizations. In many respects, OMA3 exists to ensure that Web3 technology is integrated into the long-term vision of the Metaverse and that it plays a critical role in its development. The real fear here is that big tech companies will build the Metaverse according to their own vision and dictate what users can and cannot do within it. In other words, everything would still be Web2, but we would be living and communicating within an immersive metaverse as opposed to via computers and mobile devices.
Since Meta arguably has the biggest stake in the Metaverse (and has suffered several major financial setbacks as a result), OMA3’s main focus is to ensure that the embattled tech company and other centralized entities are never allowed to determine how the future of the internet will play out. After all, it’s entirely likely that whoever controls the Metaverse will control the world since the Metaverse itself will become the world for countless millions of people.
Meta may never shrug off the yoke of being “the bad guy” in the battle for the Metaverse, and if current sentiment is anything to go by, it seems like a good number of people have lost faith in the company, even if only temporarily so. In fact, VICE has gone as far as to claim that Meta’s monopoly is “imploding before our eyes.” I would take this claim lightly low since VICE’s er, “journalistic integrity” has all but vanished in recent years. I don’t think the journey is over for Meta yet, but they may need to temporarily adjust their course if they want to regain investor confidence and build in a more sensible, sustainable fashion. Still, while Meta may have funding, many individuals and organizations, OMA3 included, view the tech giant with a huge degree of suspicion and mistrust.
Who Will Win the War?
I’m not here to make forecasts, but unless Meta finds a way to correct its downward trajectory, their bid for the Metaverse may quickly end up in the trash. It really is crunch time for Mark Zuckerberg and his board of directors, but as I’ve said before, Zuckerberg has an impressive track record and is willing to lose it all to make the Metaverse a reality. While OMA3 is indeed a noble organization, contending with an entity as well-funded and committed as Meta will be nothing short of a monumental task. And naturally, it isn’t just Meta either…it’s at least another 34 big tech companies, and almost certainly more than that. With the launch of OMA3 today, the journey has just begun, and so too has the War for the heart and soul of the Metaverse.
So what do you think of OMA3? Is an open and interoperable metaverse for all a real possibility? Or will well-funded big tech companies come out on top? Let us know your thoughts!