Image: Steam Dev Days (screenshot on YouTube)
Epic boss Tim Sweeney continues to see great potential in the Metaverse and believes it can be crafted openly.
Epic CEO Tim Sweeney has been a proponent of the Metaverse thesis for years, out of personal enthusiasm, but also economic interest: its Unreal graphics engine, along with Unity, is already the backbone of the gaming industry. and 3D.
If the Metaverse takes off and the proportion of 3D content in all walks of life continues to rise, Sweeney’s company will be among the big winners.
With Fortnite, Epic also launched a digital platform for games and social events that plays an important role in the lives of millions of young people. Sony, for example, believes in the potential of Epic and recently invested $1 billion in a Metaverse partnership.
Epic wants to continue advocating for an open Metaverse
Although Sweeney has repeatedly criticized Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg for Facebook’s aggressive XR expansion and fears a Metaverse in Meta’s walled garden, the two makers’ statements sound nearly identical. The two CEOs anticipate that the Metaverse will grow slowly over the years and emerge from the merger of many companies and technologies.
The metaverse would emerge from “a lot of different things coming together over time,” Sweeney says. One of the elements are huge groups of players and friends. At Fortnite, Epic has 600 million registered accounts with 4.7 billion social connections.
Microsoft with Xbox Live, Playstation, Nintendo and Valve would have similar potential. Meta doesn’t mention Sweeney in this list, but says, “We would really like to work with other partners to connect them all.”
According to Sweeney, the Metaverse is “incredibly complicated” and won’t magically appear. It’s about getting a little closer to the network ideal each year.
The Epic boss expects a Metaverse build time of around ten years. He sees VR and AR as “incredibly important facets” in the development of technology: “I believe that the convergence of the two fields contains a lot of magic, so that sometimes you find yourself in the physical world with virtual extensions and sometimes in the a purely virtual world is.
Sweeney currently thinks the Metaverse is overhyped
“We don’t want a dozen companies fighting to create the one monopoly that rules everything, and one wins, and now everyone is locked into their proprietary stuff,” Sweeney says.
In this context, he idealizes the first phase of the Internet, before monopolization processes began and companies created walled gardens. The Metaverse can be built on the basis of open systems, open standards “and the willingness of companies to work together on the basis of mutual respect for their customer relationships”.
“You can jump into an ecosystem with one account and play in another, and everyone respects those relationships. And there’s healthy competition for every facet of the ecosystem,” Sweeney said of his vision for the metaverse. .
It’s also a shame that the Metaverse is so “overhyped” right now. In the context of Web3, the boss of Epic even suspects a second Internet bubble.
“I think it’s like 1999 [Teil] second, and companies that build things that don’t quite work or don’t work at all have to take reality into account. But it is also a rebirth. The foundations for the future are being laid. »
The complete and readable interview is available on Fast Company.