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Facebook’s first cloud game is a digital reality show controlled by users

This seems interesting, but will people actually participate?

rival peak digital game
Image: Rival Peak

Facebook recently announced it was dipping its toes into the world of gaming and now we’re getting a glimpse at what that future may hold.

According to The Washington Post, Rival Peak should be hitting Facebook Watch today. This AI-driven, audience-decided game show has virtual, AI contestants living and working within the fictional town of Rival Peak. Facebook users will vote on what characters should do, and at the end of each week, decide who is voted out.

Rival Peak is actually being developed by some familiar faces, albeit under a new roof. Pipeworks Studios and Genvid Technologies are behind the game, but some of the team includes members of Telltale Games, which shut down abruptly in 2018. Those members are definitely familiar with creating an engaging narrative, and hopefully, some of that will be shown in this new game-meets-reality-show.

What makes this interesting is that the devs have no idea how things will play out. With users creating the narrative for the digital characters, the studio will need to adapt and change things up throughout the game’s 12-week run. There will also be an after-show, which will be hosted by Star Trek’s Wil Wheaton.

rival peak gameplay

Image: Rival Peak

Jacob Navok, cofounder and CEO of Genvid Technologies, tells The Washington Post, “We are the creators of the show and we have no idea how it will end. And every single week, we have to change the dialogue, change the weekly wrap-up show. It’s really being built week to week as the audience is collectively deciding what’s going to happen. The storyline that the community decides on is the canonical storyline.”

Overall, this should prove interesting. Rival Peak will almost certainly not be without hitches, but the developers are working in an unknown space right now. It is also another example of mainstream tech leaning more and more into the metaverse, virtual realities where people just kinda exist.

We’re already seeing it at small levels – look at Fortnite and its digital-only live concerts. But past that, augmented reality that blends the real and digital world is becoming more prominent. Navok seems to agree, telling WP, “There are 2 billion users on Facebook, but there is only one ‘Rival Peak’ world. And if those millions start telling AI what to do in a single world, if that’s not the closest thing to the Metaverse we can experience, I don’t know what is.”

What do you think? Are you interested in this game-meets-virtual-world? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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