Silicon Valley CEOs Are Not Impressed by the Present Metaverse
- Silicon Valley executives believe the metaverse is lacking in quality and experience.
- Some crypto experts believe the world has yet to clearly define the metaverse.
While speaking at a recent Wall Street Journal event, Microsoft gaming chief Phil Spencer and Snap CEO Evan Spiegel explained that they were not huge fans of the metaverse in its current state. Microsoft’s Spencer tagged the budding virtual world a “poorly built video game,” slamming projects in the sector for poor-quality graphics and interfaces.
While many believe that metaverse-based games will compete with traditional games in the coming years, Spener thinks otherwise. The Microsoft gaming chief believes metaverse projects are not quality enough to pose a threat, adding that the gaming space has a competitive advantage over the metaverse with its engaging content.
Spencer spared no words when he compared most current metaverse experiences to virtual reality room meetings. He said,
Video game creators have an amazing ability to build compelling worlds that we want to go spend time in. […] For me, building a metaverse that looks like a meeting room… I just find that’s not where I want to spend most of my time.
Spiegel argued that the present renditions of the metaverse are pretty basic, noting that they cannot retain his attention. He compared the current experience of the virtual world to “living inside a computer.”
Metaverse projects mostly incorporate virtual reality hardware into their platforms. Spiegel mocked such trends, noting that Snap is more concerned with minimizing the hardware and delivering the experience to the real world via augmented reality (AR).
Apple senior vice president of worldwide marketing, Greg Joswiak, described the metaverse as “a word I’ll never use.” Apple is another firm that is heavily focused on AR over VR.
Additionally, Disney CEO Bob Chapek said the entertainment brand thinks the metaverse is a broad term, adding that “for us, it’s next-generation storytelling.”
The comments by the Silicon Valley CEOs come days after a Meta investor, Brad Gerstner, the CEO of Altimeter Capital, wrote a public letter slamming Mark Zuckerberg for his investments in the metaverse. Brad claimed Meta had lost investors’ confidence and advised the company to invest in artificial intelligence and reduce its workforce.
Meta CEO Zuckerberg has been a firm believer in the possibilities of the metaverse. The social media guru announced a shift in Facebook’s (now Meta) priorities, including a name change. Zuckerberg called the metaverse “a next chapter for the internet.”
Since 2021, Meta has made significant investments into the new industry and has splashed at least $15 million on Reality Labs, the arm of the company focused on virtual and augmented reality technology.
However, Meta is yet to get promising results for all its metaverse investments. The company’s central virtual platform, Horizon Worlds, has seen its monthly active users fall roughly 50% short of its target for 2022. Report claim that some Horizon Worlds staff refused to use the platform due to its playability concerns.