According to the article, the business world has abandoned virtual worlds, as exemplified by the failures of metaverses such as Meta’s Horizon Worlds, Decentraland, and Yuga Labs’ Otherside, which did not meet expectations.
Sweeney then highlighted that virtual world platforms like Fortnite, Minecraft, Roblox, The Sandbox, and VR Chat currently have a collective 600 million users. The Epic boss was sarcastic with his tweet as he suggested that an online wake should be organised to mourn the “death” of the metaverse, with 600 million monthly active users.
The Epic CEO has previously shown his support for the metaverse in April 2022 when Epic Games announced a $2 billion funding round to expedite their plans for the metaverse. The investment included a $1 billion contribution from Sony Group and KIRKBI, the holding company of LEGO Group.
The metaverse vision is still alive
Following the funding round, Epic Games and LEGO Group announced a partnership to develop a “family-friendly” metaverse. While specifics about the partnership have not been disclosed, LEGO Group CEO Niels Christiansen stated earlier this year that the company intends to release more information soon.
It’s understandable why Sweeney is advocating for the metaverse space seeing the Fortnite company has a significant stake in the nascent space. With Unreal Engine and Fortnite under its belt, Epic is in a fine position to benefit from the global adoption of the metaverse.
In addition, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has denied abandoning the metaverse for AI, “A narrative has developed that we’re somehow moving away from focusing on the metaverse vision. So I just want to say upfront that, that’s not accurate. We’ve been focusing on both AI and the Metaverse for years now, and we will continue to focus on both.”
While it’s uncertain if the metaverse will meet expectations, the fact that behemoth companies such as Epic Games, Meta and LEGO Group have invested billions in the technology indicates that the vision to create an interconnected virtual world is still alive.