Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney, a titan of the video game industry, isn't holding back from poking fun at the suggestion the metaverse is already dead.
The executive took to Twitter on Tuesday to jokingly suggest that users of popular digital platforms gather virtually in memory of the metaverse’s passing.
“The metaverse is dead!” he posted. “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.”
Sweeney’s comments were tweeted in response to a news story published by Insider earlier this week that asserted the metaverse had been abandoned by the “business world.”
The top boss at Epic Games taking issue with the gist of the story comes as no surprise, considering that many people’s view of the metaverse has often been confined to the parameters laid out by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg. In late 2021, he changed the name of his company from Facebook to Meta while declaring the metaverse was the future of digital interactions, with his version being largely played out in virtual reality.
Meta’s own efforts to lure users to its version of the metaverse have largely been disappointing, if not tragic, despite billions of dollars spent. Blockchain-based platforms like The Sandbox and Decentraland have also struggled to achieve mainstream adoption.
But some technology thought leaders have argued that the metaverse existed long before Facebook’s historic pivot. Many believe that platforms like Roblox, Fortnite and Minecraft, and their tens of millions of users, are all working versions of the metaverse, even if people are not yet able to seamlessly leap from one to the other using the same avatar.
Fortnite, one of the most popular video games in recent memory, was created and released by Epic Games. In 2022, Epic Games joined several companies including Microsoft and Meta to create an organization called the Metaverse Standards Forum.
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