Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney ironically calls the Metaverse “dead” — and then does the following
Depending on who you’re talking to, the metaverse is already dead. Or it can be alive and well. Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney posted a brief obituary and invitation to the open wake-up call for the tech movement in a recent message on Twitter — but be sure to read it sarcasm-detected and fresh.
The Metaverse is dead! Let’s organize an online memorial service so that we can mourn the death of 600,000,000 monthly active users in Fortnite, Minecraft, Roblox, PUBG Mobile, Sandbox and VRChat together in real time in 3D.https://t.co/tRpFHsdZLw
— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) May 9, 2023
Sweeney’s testimony pokes fun at claims that the Metaverse trend has lost momentum and is stalling. Specifically, it’s in response to an article published by EZPR CEO Ed Zitron in Business Insider, in which the PR executive suggested that factors such as the advent of generative artificial intelligence (AI) had destroyed the metaverse. Will the rise of persistent online virtual worlds really be that short-lived?
The metaverse is dead, long live the metaverse
As Sweeney points out, leading metaverses continue to enjoy strong engagement, and the rise of generative AI technologies could actually be a major boon for top virtual world platforms. Generative AI not only offers opportunities to greatly improve developer productivity, but also opens the door for Metaverse users to easily create the types of virtual objects, environments, characters, and scenarios they would most like to see.
There is no doubt that AI is the hottest topic in the tech sector right now, and it likely will remain so for the foreseeable future. But it’s probably a mistake to portray the long-term success of these two tech trends as if they’re mutually exclusive.
Epic Games, owned by the Chinese media conglomerate Tencent, certainly seems to think that the metaverse still has viable growth opportunities. In addition to leading a multi-billion dollar partnership with Sony and KIRKBI (who owns The Lego Company) to push metaverse, epics Fourteen days remains very popular and the company’s Unreal development engine is used by third-party Metaverse projects.
Sweeney rightly points out that many existing metaverses already have very strong engagement metrics. Minecraftthat is owned by MicrosoftConsidered the best-selling game of all time, with hundreds of millions of copies sold and downloaded around the world. In the meantime, Roblox The average number of daily active users (DAU) grew 22% year over year to a record 66.1 million, and the total number of interaction hours on the platform grew 23% to 14.5 billion.
Platforms including are crucial Fourteen days, MinecraftAnd Roblox have already proven to be persistent. Fourteen days is actually the youngest of the three, having debuted in 2017. meanwhile is Minecraft debuted in 2011 and the first version of Roblox was released in 2006.
Why have some in the metaverse become ill?
According to Zitron, “The metaverse is now on its way to the graveyard of failed tech industry ideas.” Much of his pessimistic view of space revolves around a critique of it metaplatforms‘ (META 2.21%) Projects in the virtual world could not live up to the hype and expectations. The companys horizon worlds The platform fell short of engagement goals and generally lacked some of the stunning visuals and features seen in the video the company used to demonstrate its first Metaverse projects. Zitron even goes so far as to suggest that Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta Platforms, may never have had any real interest in this space.
While it’s clear that the metaverse has yet to prove itself as a key performance driver for the company, there’s little sign that the tech giant has given up on its ambitions in the category. In the first-quarter conference call that Meta hosted late last month, Zuckerberg commented on the notion that he had abandoned the metaverse in favor of AI:
The narrative has been forming that we’re kind of drifting away from focusing on the vision of the metaverse, so I’ll preface that by saying that’s not accurate. We’ve focused on both AI and the metaverse for years, and will continue to focus on both.
While Zuckerberg has hinted that AI has become the company’s key short-term growth focus, he continues to emphasize that the metaverse represents a key long-term growth opportunity. The tech CEO views AI and the Metaverse as complementary technologies, and Meta has continued to pour billions into expanding its long-term Metaverse ambitions each quarter.
The death of the metaverse has been greatly exaggerated
Adoption of the broader Metaverse category could progress somewhat unevenly in the run-up to major breakthroughs. Some projects in this area already seem to have failed, others are likely to follow. But the metaverse remains a promising field and it’s likely that some players will find incredible wins in this area.
Artificial intelligence is rightly all the rage in tech and on Wall Street right now, but the excitement around generative AI isn’t going to destroy the metaverse. In fact, the rise of virtual worlds is probably just beginning.
Randi Zuckerberg, former director of market development and spokesperson for Facebook and sister of Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta Platforms, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Keith Noonan holds no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Meta Platforms, Microsoft, Roblox, and Tencent. The Motley Fool has one confidentiality policy.