Improbable a UK-based tech startup shuts down its military metaverse project, dubbed Skyral. The highly complex idea was easier to theorize than implement, leaving the company no choice but to cut its losses.
The move is a big blow to the metaverse community, whose proponents believed supporting the military-industrial complex was one of its ideal use cases.
The news first broke on November 12, a week after former president and general manager Caitlin Dohrman left the project. She joined Tangram Flex, a software company, as CEO. Many who were aware of the project were left baffled by what was going on. However, over the past weekend, Dohrman broke the silence and offered some perspective on what was going on.
In a LinkedIn post, she notes that the startup decided to “refocus on its commercial metaverse business” amid “challenging macroeconomic conditions.” Unfortunately, Improbable U.S. Defense & National Security had to shut down.
“The decision was not a reflection on the quality of our work or the success of the U.S. business. Our government customers and industry partners are equally disappointed that the highly unique and transformative synthetic environment solutions we were delivering will no longer be available. This decision affects not only our employees, but the U.S. national security community as well.”
The project intended to build cutting-edge national security-focused software. However, there isn’t much information on how the technology worked. That said, Skyral featured a developer environment where users could “create large-scale, high-density synthetic environments that can accommodate thousands of concurrent users.”
According to Herman Narula, co-founder of Improbable, the idea behind Skyral was to build military simulators such as those of the popular Arma series but on a larger scale. Then the tech would be licensed to the U.S. and UK militaries for training their troops in a simulated environment.