Wrapping up 2023 and excited for what's coming

To the Decentraland Community,

As we approach the end of the year, I reflect on my journey since becoming the Executive Director of the Decentraland Foundation in April. As an original contributor and co-author of our Whitepaper, returning to this mission feels like coming home.

This year has been a journey of personal and professional rediscovery, reaffirming the values and visions that inspired the foundation of Decentraland. The platform has evolved significantly from its initial whitepaper concept, now offering a social and explorative experience through a user-generated open world, complete with a vibrant economy of Wearables and Emotes. While we have successfully realized many aspects of the whitepaper, other areas have not fully achieved our vision.

The past eight months have been dedicated to setting an internal strategy and reshaping our team and working culture to achieve it. I am pleased with the development speed we have maintained in the last two quarters. Our team has successfully launched a range of new features that enrich the creators’ economy in Decentraland. Creators can now publish and monetize innovative Smart Wearables, customized Hands, and richer Emotes, offering more engaging ways for users to interact in the virtual world.

We’ve also made significant enhancements to the Decentraland Explorer. Key updates include an improved Map for easier exploration, a new Camera Mode for taking and sharing pictures, and the introduction of VRM export functionality, further bridging the gap between Decentraland and broader virtual reality platforms.

Our commitment to empowering creators continues with ongoing development and improvement of our core tools. The Editor has seen multiple updates for enhanced accessibility and functionality, and the SDK has been upgraded to allow avatar animations, smoother transitions, and out-of-the-box multiplayer, providing a more robust and versatile foundation for creators to build upon.

We are now prepared to tackle our most significant challenge in 2024, building on these solid foundations, lessons learned, and the momentum we’ve gathered over the past year.

Our biggest challenge has been the performance and stability of the Explorer. Despite significant time and resources invested, the issues we face are fundamental to its base architecture. The limitations in expanding to other platforms like mobile and VR are also rooted in the codebase’s architecture. Consequently, we have decided to rebuild the Explorer from the ground up, incorporating our past learnings to lay the foundation for a more robust future.

Looking ahead to 2024, we have ambitious plans. In addition to launching a new Explorer, we will host the first Decentraland Community Summit in Argentina, and organize in-world events throughout the year to showcase the creativity and talent of the Decentraland community builders. We are also excited to participate in major industry conferences, engaging with gamers and tech innovators. Stay tuned for more information about these initiatives in the Manifesto that will be published by the Foundation soon.

I am filled with gratitude and anticipation for the opportunities and challenges ahead. Thank you for your support and contributions to Decentraland. Together, we are building something extraordinary.

Here’s to a successful 2024!

Warm regards,

Yemel Jardi
Executive Director
Decentraland Foundation