Two Siberian twin brothers in New Zealand want to build the metaverse

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That headline sounds very unlikely for this story, but I’m sure it caught your attention. When I met Alexei and Afanasi Ushinsky in 2015, these twin brothers definitely caught my attention. And they’re doing it again with a metavars project they call mytonavars.

I mean, you probably haven’t been able to put together as many surprise words as we have in that headline. But it is true. The brothers run the mobile gaming company Mytona and they have made it a company with 1,200 people. And his latest obsession is building a metavars, although he focuses on cartoon-like characters rather than surrealistic ones.

I went with the Ushinsky brothers to the Casual Connect gaming event in Tel Aviv, where they told me that they had grown up in the trembling winter of Yakutsk, Siberia, where it could reach minus 60 degrees below zero and it was too cold to go there. Out and Play. And it has become an ideal place to stay indoors and play video games. They did this so much that they became eager to make games and taught themselves to do it. The 15th game, Secret Society: Hidden Mystery, was a hidden object game that received 30 million downloads.

To me, his story was an example of how you can make games anywhere in the world, and I wrote a story about all the places where games were being made. And that’s where I left them.


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Getting in touch again

Above: Alexei Ushinsky (left), CEO of Maitona and his twin brother Afanasi Ushinsky, Chief Operating Officer, in 2015.

Image Credit: Dean Takahashi

But the Ushinsky brothers did not forget about me. Alexi approached me about how they created an app that could be an early contender for Metawors, the universe of virtual worlds that are all interconnected, such as in novels. Snow crash And Ready Player One,

In recent years, his hit games have included titles such as Seekers Notes, Cooking Diary, Propanite, The Day Before.

“In 2015, we decided to publish the games ourselves and opened a new startup – a game publishing company based in Singapore,” said Alexi. “Then we introduced two successful games developed by our Russian department: Seekers Notes and Cooking Diary. Thanks to these projects, we have more opportunities to publish more games. “

And that enables them to hire a lot of people in Siberia, Singapore and New Zealand. The brothers themselves went first to Singapore and then to New Zealand. It turns out that the cold weather was not at all necessary for them to make games.

“We miss the cold weather, but we do get a taste of winter, as it gets snowy on New Zealand’s South Island,” Alexi said. “By the way, contrary to popular belief, summers in Yakutsk are very hot.
Before the epidemic, we went to Yakutsk every quarter. We are actively helping our home region with information technology development, donating more than $ 400,000 for social causes to fight wildfires and more than $ 200,000 for fighting epidemics. And we love playing PUBG with our friends. “

Now, it is clear that his version of Metavers is not as ambitious as the others have created. Instead, it’s a cartoon-like virtual world. But with 1,200 people to help them, the brothers are serious about taking steps to create full-scale metavars. In fact, the app is now out on major mobile app platforms.

Mytonaverse aims to help people get closer regardless of their distance. Its main features are accessibility and usability, which ensures that anyone can easily join it, Alexi told Gamesbeat in an email.

The app brings communication closer to real-life interactions: in the current version, users can hold virtual meetings, travel to different social centers (worlds) and have metavers parties with friends around the world. The app is meant to be the first step towards full-scale metavers, but even now Mytonaverse could be an excellent alternative to video and audio calls, Alexi said.

“While creating our metavers, we focused on our colleagues, friends and our own feelings, that something was missing in the video calls,” the brothers said. “Considering that it has become physically difficult to get together, we moved away from the idea of ​​creating and embodying a metavars where you can see friends and visit new places together without leaving home. So, we made it our favorite holiday – We decided to start on Christmas Eve so that people could reunite with their families, hang out with friends and make new acquaintances. “

Developers are planning regular updates and improvements to the app, opening up even more opportunities for communication and adding other technologies, such as blockchain technology and support for nonfungible tokens (NFTs), which are now very angry.

In the future, Mytonaverse users will be able to set up their own businesses in the app – stores for selling their own goods and services. In addition, users will be able to organize their exhibitions, workshops, special presentations, concerts and much more.

Starting Metavers

Above: A metavars wardrobe.

Image Credit: Mytona

The brothers missed their friends.

“We could only use messengers and play some games together,” Alexi said. “And back in 2018, we came up with the idea of ​​creating something where people could easily communicate and play, where there would be far more opportunities than messengers or games. After delving deeper into the subject, we realized that there was practically no information about it on the Internet. “

In late 2019, they began to grow. During development, they began to realize that this was the future.

“We’ve decided to create something that will be accessible and understandable, not just for gamers, but for everyone, regardless of their technical skills. At the time, we had no idea we were building metavers, “said Alexi.

He said he wanted to see a large decentralized metavars, similar to the Internet, not owned by any company or corporation.

It will be managed by a decentralized autonomous body (DAO), and content will be created by users only. Metavers will be based on blockchain technology and all technologies will be open source, Alexi said.

To differentiate Mytonaverse, Alexi said that the main idea behind Mytonaverse is accessibility and usability so that anyone can use it easily.

“You need to have a mobile device / PC with internet access,” Alexi said. “It simply came to our notice then. We’ve invested all our experience accumulated over the years in developing casual sports. Sure, it took us a long time to achieve this result, but now we are convinced that we have succeeded in making the social interaction in our metavars as efficient and efficient as possible. “

Currently, many large corporations are visualizing Metavers as an infinite virtual world that uses AR / VR technology, but it will take some time before that happens, Alexi said. The projects and technologies they are announcing are not yet available to a wide audience due to their high cost and inaccessibility.

“The freedom of action that we want to give people through our metavars is more important now than ever before,” he said. “And you don’t have to be a big corporation to do that – after all, during big technological advances, previously unknown companies usually become household names.”


Above: A metavers meeting.

Image Credit: Mytona

Alexi said the main difference between the other announced Metawors projects is that Mayto is moving towards a simpler complex.

“First and foremost, we’re focusing on what people really need: accessibility and maximum convenience,” Alexi said. “For now, it will be a great alternative to video calls and chats.”

He added, “In the near future, we want to give our users a stronger and deeper system of communication so that they can not only communicate, but also learn and work easily. We will also provide a platform for mass events such as concerts, exhibitions so that people have the opportunity to run their own independent business.

A new generation is emerging for which virtual things are as valuable as material things.

“Even looking at our kids now, we can see that they have pocket money and immediately they choose to buy virtual items,” Alexi said.

They plan to introduce blockchain technology and NFTs. These technologies will enable users to create and sell their own virtual content as well as provide a variety of services.

“So, in our metavars, we plan to introduce platforms for brands, play to monetize, streaming platforms, etc.,” Alexi said. “We are confident that these phases are not the limit for our team and the potential of our metavars is endless.”


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