Tim Sweeney, the billionaire CEO of Epic Games, the company behind Fortnite, has mocked a Business Insider article that claimed the metaverse is dead. As evidence of its vitality, he cited the vast number of active users across numerous virtual world platforms.
The Metaverse Explained
Science fiction author Neal Stephenson coins the metaverse in his 1992 novel Snow Crash. It refers to a highly immersive virtual world where people can socialize, play, and work using Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) devices.
The metaverse is also a potential successor to the internet, where digital assets and identities can be owned and traded on decentralized platforms.
Reasons behind Metaverse Skepticism
The metaverse has been a topic of intense debate in the tech space, with some industry leaders like Bill Gates expressing skepticism.
Since many big supporters have suddenly backed down, the metaverse pessimism is unusual.
Last month, entertainment giant Disney announced that its Metaverse division would be eliminated as part of broader layoffs affecting up to 7,000 employees.
Microsoft has also discontinued its Industrial Metaverse Core team this year, a four-month-old project designed to promote the use of the metaverse in industrial settings.
The tech giant also laid off all of the project’s employees, approximately 100 individuals.
Pioneers of the Metaverse
However, other tech companies, like Meta, have continued to support the concept. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg denied claims that the company had pivoted away from the metaverse in favor of AI during the company’s earnings call.
He stated that Meta’s mission is to create a platform that enables cross-device and cross-experience connections.
Epic Games’ Fortnite, which has over 350 million players, is also a metaverse leader. Fortnite is a platform where people can create content, attend virtual concerts and events, and socialize.
Additionally, Epic Games also owns Unreal Engine, a powerful tool for creating realistic and immersive 3D environments.
Tim Sweeney, the CEO of Epic Games, has voiced his views on the metaverse. In a recent tweet, he mocked a Business Insider article that suggested the metaverse had run its course, implying the number of active users across some of the more popular virtual worlds.
“The metaverse is dead! Let’s organize an online wake so that we 600,000,000 monthly active users in Fortnite, Minecraft, Roblox, PUBG Mobile, Sandbox, and VRChat can mourn its passing together in real-time 3D.”
He also added that the metaverse is not a single product or company but a network of interconnected platforms enabling users to express themselves and have fun.
“The metaverse isn’t something you buy into or sign up for. It’s an emergent property of everyone’s freedom to create and explore without boundaries.”
Sweeney’s tweet received over 10,000 likes and hundreds of comments from users who supported or opposed his stance. Some praised his vision and leadership, while others criticized him for his monopoly and lawsuits.
The debate over the metaverse is likely to continue as more companies and users join the virtual world. Whether the metaverse will become a reality or a fantasy remains to be seen.