Billionaire CEO Behind Fortnite Declares 'The Metaverse is Not Dead' – Here's Why
The billionaire CEO of Epic Games, the company behind the popular online game Fortnite, has refuted claims that the metaverse is dead.
In a recent tweet, Tim Sweeney mocked a Business Insider article that suggested the metaverse had run its course, hinting at the number of active users across some of the more popular virtual worlds.
"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."
The tweet came in response to a post by Ed Zitron, the CEO of EZPR, a tech and business public-relations agency who claimed 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 claimed that Decentraland and Yuga Labs’ Otherside have seemingly failed to live up to their hype and claimed investors had turned their attention to the next Big Tech fad — generative AI.
However, Sweeney refuted the claim, mentioning that there are 600 million monthly active users across virtual world platforms such as Fortnite, Minecraft, Roblox, The Sandbox, and VR Chat.
Metaverse Becomes Center of Debate as AI Frenzy Takes Over
The metaverse has been a topic of intense debate in the tech world, with some industry leaders like Bill Gates expressing a tepid outlook.
The gloomy outlook regarding the metaverse is not entirely out of the norm, particularly since many big supporters of the idea have recently backed down from their ambitions.
Just last month, entertainment giant Disney announced that it is eliminating its metaverse division as part of broader layoffs that will impact as many as 7,000 employees.
Moreover, Microsoft has discontinued its Industrial Metaverse Core team this year, a four-month-old project aimed to encourage the use of the metaverse in industrial environments. The tech giant also laid off all employees working on the project, which amounts to about 100 people.
However, other tech companies like Meta have remained committed to the concept.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg denied claims that the company had pivoted away from the metaverse in favor of AI during the company's earnings call.
“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,” he said.
Similarly, Sweeney's Epic Games has been investing heavily in the technology.
In April last year, the company raised $2 billion in financing from Sony and investment firm KIRKBI to "advance the company's vision to build the metaverse."