The word ‘metaverse’ is becoming almost inescapable, especially for those who peruse technology and games-related headlines.
Most recently, Facebook has been making big noises about transitioning from a social media company to a metaverse one. Meanwhile other companies have raised significant capital — such as Epic Games securing $1 billion — towards similar ambitions (Epic even stated in court earlier this year that Fortnite is not a game, it’s a metaverse).
Jon Radoff, CEO of Beamable and formerly mobile developer Disruptor Beam, has attempted to map out the companies that have either expressed an interest in the metaverse, or at least could be argued are connected to it, which is extensive to say the least.
With the term already in danger of overuse after these opening paragraphs alone, it’s time to question why so many major companies across multiple industries are investing so heavily in a concept some might write off as science fiction.
Indie developer Rami Ismail sums it up to us rather nicely: “The idea of creating an alternative world in which everyone has to use your currency, play by your rules and everyone wants to promote their brands is really appealing to rich people. I mean, I guess we are talking about Fortnite after all.”
But this feature would be too short if we just accepted the “Because money” rationale behind the rise of the metaverse. So let’s take a deeper dive into what it is these companies are actually trying to achieve, and why games developers see themselves at the forefront of these efforts.