Epic CEO Slams Metaverse Death Speculations, Expects 600 Million at Funeral

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney remains unwavering in his belief in the metaverse and has mocked the idea that online virtual universes are a thing of the past.

On May 9th, the billionaire behind the popular video games Unreal Engine and Fortnite, posted a tweet mocking Business Insider’s recently published article RIP Metaverse, we hardly knew ye.

According to Ed Zitron, CEO of a PR firm, the technology that was once highly popular, has been left by the business world and has since been declared dead.

In the article, Zitron specifically referred to Meta’s virtual reality (VR) platform, Horizon Worlds, which he argues has not fulfilled its ambitious pledge of becoming the internet’s next big thing.

The article cited Decentraland and Yuga Labs’ Otherside as examples of metaverses that have not lived up to their hype, and stated that investors have now shifted their focus to the next buzzworthy technology trend, generative AI.

Excerpt from RIP Metaverse – An obituary for the latest fad to join the tech graveyard. Source: Business Insider

Sweeney, on the other hand, seems to hold a different opinion, as he claims that there are approximately 600 million users spread across various virtual world platforms including Minecraft, Fortnite, VR Chat, The Sandbox, and Roblox.

In a sarcastic tone, Sweeney suggested that since the metaverse is dead, the 600 million monthly active users on platforms like Fortnite, Minecraft, PUBG Mobile, VRChat, Roblox, and Sandbox should hold an online wake to collectively mourn its demise in real-time 3D. His comment was seconded by Sebastien Borget, CEO of Sandbox.

Epic Games disclosed in April 2022 that it had raised $2 billion through a funding round to expedite its efforts towards building the metaverse. The funding round included a $1 billion investment from Sony Group and KIRKBI, the parent company of LEGO Group.

LEGO Group and Epic Games’ announcement of a long-term collaboration to create a family-oriented metaverse was made shortly before the $2 billion funding round.

Although neither of the two firms have shared any specific details on their future plans, LEGO Group CEO Niels Christiansen confirmed that they are working on an upcoming announcement that will shed more light on their partnership, as he mentioned in an interview with the Financial Times earlier this year.

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