In a recent tweet, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney pushed back against a recent article from Business Insider that claimed the Metaverse was “dead.” The article, written by PR firm CEO Ed Zitron, argued that virtual worlds had been abandoned by the business world, citing Meta’s Horizon Worlds, Decentraland, and Yuga Labs’ Otherside as examples of metaverses that had failed to live up to their hype.
Sweeney, however, was quick to point out that there are currently 600 million users across virtual world platforms like Fortnite, Minecraft, Roblox, The Sandbox, and VR Chat. In his tweet, Sweeney sarcastically suggested that the Metaverse was dead and that it was time to organize an online wake for the 600 million monthly active users across these platforms to mourn its passing.
This isn’t the first time that Sweeney has spoken out in defense of the Metaverse. In April 2022, Epic Games announced a $2 billion funding round aimed at accelerating the company’s plans for the Metaverse. The investment included a $1 billion investment from Sony Group and KIRKBI, the holding company behind the LEGO Group.
Shortly after the funding round, Epic Games and LEGO Group announced a long-term partnership to build a “family-friendly” Metaverse. While neither company has revealed any concrete details about the collaboration, LEGO Group CEO Niels Christiansen told the Financial Times earlier this year that the company was looking to announce more details soon.
Sweeney’s defense of the Metaverse is understandable, given that Epic Games is heavily invested in the technology. As the creator of the Unreal Engine and Fortnite, two major players in the virtual world space, Epic Games is well-positioned to take advantage of the growing interest in the Metaverse.
It remains to be seen whether the Metaverse will live up to its hype, but with major players like Epic Games and LEGO Group investing billions of dollars in the technology, it’s clear that the concept is not going away anytime soon. As more and more people turn to virtual worlds for work, play, and socializing, it’s possible that the Metaverse will become an integral part of our daily lives.