Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney is just as optimistic about the metaverse as ever, after poking fun at a recent suggestion that online virtual worlds are “dead.”
The now-billionaire video game entrepreneur — creator of the Unreal Engine and Fortnite — took to Twitter on May 9 to mock a newly published article from Business Insider titled “RIP Metaverse, we hardly knew ye.”
The article by PR firm CEO Ed Zitron claimed that the “once-buzzy technology” had “died after being abandoned by the business world.”
The article made particular mention of Meta’s virtual reality (VR) platform Horizon Worlds, which Zitron claims has failed to live up to its “grand promise” of becoming the future of the internet.
It also mentions Decentraland and Yuga Labs’ Otherside as examples of metaverses that have seemingly failed to live up to their hype and claimed investors had turned their attention to the next Big Tech fad — generative AI.
Sweeney however doesn’t appear to agree, suggesting there are 600 million users across virtual world platforms such as Fortnite, Minecraft, Roblox, The Sandbox and VR Chat.
“The metaverse is dead! 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,” he joked, which was echoed soon after by Sandbox CEO Sebastien Borget.
In April 2022, Epic Games announced a $2 billion funding round with the aim of 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.
It came not long after LEGO Group and Epic Games announced they were entering a long-term partnership to build a “family-friendly” metaverse.
Neither company is yet to reveal what plans entail. However, Lego Group CEO Niels Christiansen told the Financial Times earlier this year that it is looking to announce more details about the collaboration.