The gaming industry is poised for further growth, even after lockdowns ease, but insiders expect its future will look far different as companies add more social and interactive features and expand their worlds beyond a single platform.

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  • L.A.-based Genies is expanding beyond creating and managing avatars for celebrities; consumers can now create their own avatars on partner platforms that use Genies' software development kit.
  • Initial partners are Gucci and Giphy, with more expected in the coming months.
  • Genies' pivot is an effort to capitalize on the 'digital goods economy' and the ascendance of the metaverse.

Justin Bieber made Crocs cool again earlier this month, when he partnered with the footwear company, known more for function than fashion, to release a limited edition pair that reportedly sold out in 90 minutes.

Imagine now that those shoes were meant to be worn not on human feet, but on the pixels of a consumer's digital avatar.

This is the vision of L.A.-based Genies, which announced Tuesday it is now integrating its avatar-creation technology into other companies' digital platforms via an updated software development kit (SDK).

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Takeaways:

  • VR game-maker Survios is expanding beyond virtual reality games as it embraces the idea of a "cross-play" world, where users can play against one another regardless of platform.
  • The company sees this as part of a broader emerging trend that it calls "cross-reality."
  • Survios' move is part of a bigger shift in the VR industry, which is recalibrating expectations and extending the timeline for immersive technology's growth.

Culver City-based virtual reality and gaming startup Survios is broadening beyond VR.

The company — creator of such games as "Creed: Rise to Glory," "The Walking Dead Onslaught" and "Westworld: Awakening" – recently announced its first non-VR game: "Big Rumble Boxing: Creed Champions." It hopes to leverage its relationship with MGM Studios, a lead investor of its 2016 Series C fundraise and owner of the "Creed" series IP.

Following its recent $16.7 million Series D funding round, Survios is one of a number of companies taking a fresh look at how users will use virtual reality in the future, and its role in the growth of gaming and the "metaverse."

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