Sony to discontinue Dreams app despite metaverse potential

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The Sony subsidiary Media Molecule has announced that it will discontinue the community-driven creative building tool Dreams — which could have been a potential metaverse tool.

The studio will stop providing support for the game creation platform following a final update scheduled for September. However, the company will still release critical bug fixes if necessary.

The developer also confirmed that upcoming releases for Dreams would not cater to the much-awaited port for PlayStation VR 2. The new updates also will not include support for multiplayer, PS5 or 3D printers.

Dreams app’s features, future updates

Dreams is one of Sony’s creative applications on the PS4 and PSVR. Users can blend their own painted artwork, animations and levels with those of other creators to create large and intricate works of art.

The studio has included elements from its previous title, LittleBigPlanet. But it is entirely 3D and can be played using PS VR technology.

The application highlights brushstrokes made for dreamlike games and intricate paintings. However, the online features are somewhat restricted compared to Rec Room or Meta’s Horizon Worlds. Specifically, in Dreams, users cannot develop games together in the same online environment.

Users will no longer be able to archive their projects but can choose to delete them. Any previously saved works will still be accessible in the saved copies section.

Dreams will still be available for purchase. Users can also continue to create and explore content made by others. But there will be new limits on player creations due to a server transition. Users will have a 5GB online storage capacity. The previously created projects will not be counted towards this limit.

Players who use Dreams’ editor can sculpt, alter and add color to three-dimensional models. Additionally, they can produce and animate paint specks with diverse style effects.

They can also modify colors, finishes, glow and other effects, capture and adjust sound effects and compose music with instruments. The editor even allows them to establish camera perspectives and atmospheric effects such as lighting and fog.

The editor also includes “gadgets” — objects that activate each other with trigger zones and signal generators. It also allows players to apply logic using variables and timers.

A potential metaverse tool

According to Tomas Franzese of Digital Trends, Dreams lacked effective promotion before and after its launch. Although the game had been in development for a decade and was teased at the PS4 reveal event, it failed to generate much excitement when it was finally released in 2020. As a result, many players who tried it never returned.

Over the years, Dreams had a small but dedicated community that actively participated in events like DreamsCom and The Impy Awards. Still, the game couldn’t gain traction or attract attention outside the established fanbase.

Franzese also pointed out that because of Dreams’ lack of exposure, most people who were not hardcore fans didn’t know about it. This makes it less attractive compared to other tools like Fortnite Creative.

Although Dreams did not achieve commercial success, its core concepts are well-suited for the metaverse as it offers a range of user-generated content creation tools.

Nevertheless, Franzese believes that Sony didn’t position Dreams as a significant metaverse live service. The company also didn’t give it social spaces like PlayStation Home, which could have helped it succeed in the metaverse space.

Franzese maintained that Dreams would have been more successful if it had been released on PC with mouse and keyboard support. He argued that the PC platform is superior for creating video games compared to consoles.

He also explained that the lack of a viable way to monetize game creations from Dreams on PS4 or other platforms significantly hindered its success. Without the ability to function as a standalone game engine, Dreams was limited in its potential for broader adoption.


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