Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney recently took a light-hearted jab at an article published on Business Insider titled “RIP Metaverse, we hardly knew ye,” to emphasize his unwavering belief in the future of the Metaverse. In his tweet, Sweeney sarcastically suggested organizing an online wake for the six hundred million monthly active users across platforms like Fortnite, Minecraft, Roblox, PUBG Mobile, Sandbox, and VRChat.
The Business Insider article, written by PR firm CEO Ed Zitron, argued that the Metaverse technology, once a hot topic, has fallen out of relevance as it has been abandoned by the business world. Zitron specifically points to Meta‘s virtual reality (VR) platform Horizon Worlds as an example of a failed venture that did not live up to its grand promise of becoming the future of the internet. He also mentions Decentraland and Yuga Labs’ Otherside, claiming that these Metaverses failed to meet their hype.
Sweeney’s tongue-in-cheek response accentuates his perspective and optimism for the Metaverse, especially considering the massive user base that engages with these virtual worlds. Sandbox CEO Sebastien Borget echoed Sweeney’s sentiment shortly after, emphasizing the ongoing enthusiasm for the Metaverse.
In contrast to Zitron’s assertions, one can point to the involvement of major corporations like Sony Group, KIRKBI (the holding company responsible for the LEGO Group), and Epic Games in the development and funding of Metaverse projects as evidence supporting Sweeney’s viewpoint. In April 2022, Epic Games raised $2 billion in funding, which included a $1 billion investment from Sony Group and KIRKBI, to accelerate its plans for the Metaverse.
The LEGO Group’s collaboration with Epic Games to build a family-friendly Metaverse further substantiates the notion that the Metaverse technology is far from dead. While details about this partnership are yet to be disclosed, LEGO Group Chief Executive Niels Christiansen has hinted at sharing more information about the collaboration soon.
In conclusion, while some may view the once-buzzy Metaverse technology as a fading fad, the commitment and investment of major entities, such as Epic Games and the LEGO Group, suggest that there is still significant faith in the potential of virtual worlds. The contrasting views shared by Tim Sweeney and Ed Zitron illustrate that the debate over the Metaverse’s future is far from settled. However, the impressive adoption rate of virtual worlds and substantial funding by prominent companies serve as compelling reasons to maintain optimism about the Metaverse’s potential.