People Can’t Stop Talking About the Metaverse

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 1 min read

Metaverse! Metaverse? Metaverse!! — Benedict Evans

But VR today seems to be at risk of stalling out as no more than a subset of hardcore games. We have a great consumer device but we don’t have any other use cases, and indeed some games people would argue that VR isn’t even working in games.

I would say that’s a fair way to put it. A new mainline Half Life game came out last year, was masterful by almost every measure, but tons of people (like me) only experienced it via YouTube/Twitch streams because we didn’t have the hardware to play it.

[T]he second thesis, quite widespread in tech today, is that games will, so to speak, break out of games. Hardcore, rich, immersive games have always been a big business, but more people use Snapchat than games consoles - games are not universal. Now people wonder if some combination of the ideas behind Roblox and Fortnite, with their open worlds, open creativity and cross-over with other kinds pop culture, might lead to a fundamental change. (It might also create more VC-investible companies).

I don’t know what the future holds, but it’s hard to look at things like Fortnite, Roblox, Minecraft, and other games and think there’s nothing there. The “metaverse” right now seems more like a general direction on a compass rather than a clear destination. Lots of us will be wrong, we’ll back the wrong horse, there will be plenty of false starts, but that’s what makes it so exciting.