In 2021, Facebook's parent company has a new name and a new goal. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said at the time: “Over time, we hope that we can be seen as a metaverse company.” He later called Metaverse the “successor of the mobile Internet,” and said the concept would be too large and industry-wide for any one company to tackle.
That hasn't happened yet. Even Meta employees barely use the company's flagship Metaverse app. horizon worldAnd in recent years, Zuckerberg's definition of the metaverse has become ready player 1As new buzzwords such as AI take hold, the virtual world will transform into a blend of reality and virtuality. In any case, this vision of the Internet hasn't taken hold exactly as Zuckerberg planned, at least not from the meta.But the Metaverse business seems to be booming. fortnite.
Yesterday, Disney invested $1.5 billion in Epic Games. Its goal is to create what the company calls “a vast, open world of games and entertainment.” fortnite. This is due to a major reorganization. fortnite Earlier this year, we transitioned from our popular online shooter to a series of connected experiences, from Lego survival games to games. rock bandstyle music festival. (This new era has begun, in the truest sense) fortnite Fashion, with a massive virtual concert. )
Disney has done its own work in this area before. In 2022, the company tasked executive Mike White with leading its efforts on the Metaverse, with former CEO Bob Chapek saying, “The so-called Metaverse, this is the next great storytelling frontier.'' I believe,'' he said. A year later, its Metaverse division was discontinued as part of a wave of mass layoffs.
So what's the difference? Why can't the big entertainment conglomerates and the big social networks break through the metaverse, and a goofy game where you can fight Ariana Grande with bananas succeed? The answer is, well, it's a stupid game. Meta and Disney (and all the other companies following the Metaverse trend) began with a new vision for the Internet: the desire to create an all-encompassing virtual world that serves as a place to play and work. But they didn't give people a reason to want to exist in that space. fortniteon the other hand, started out as something millions of people really wanted to do – play fun games with characters they know and love – and built their virtual world aspirations on top of that.
“We're not fighting trends,” Epic executive vice president Sax Persson told me last year. “We're just trying to expand on what we're already seeing today. fortnite. All we're really doing is building on what we know is working today. ”
fortniteThe evolution of has been slow and steady since its launch. In fact, it started out as a survival game before Battle Royale mode became popular. Since then, Epic has tried different things. fortnite It's more of a place than a game. Millions of dollars have been spent on virtual concerts, esports, art galleries, violence-free hangout zones, and more. But at its core are ever-changing and consistently popular video games. in fact, fortniteThere was a throwback event before the latest reinvention of Fortnite OG, designed to bring back stalled players. Without the game, the rest will not work.
Of course, it hasn't been completely smooth sailing for Epic either. Not all of these bets paid off.Party Royale is a wasteland and has a competitive aspect fortnite It has almost become an afterthought. And like many technology companies, Epic took a proactive approach after the pandemic-related business boom. The company laid off 16 percent of its workforce last year. CEO Tim Sweeney said in a statement:“We have spent far more money than we have earned and invested in the next evolution and growth of Epic. fortnite As a metaverse-inspired ecosystem for creators. ”
at present, fortnite It just doesn't match the sci-fi vision of a virtual world. Logging into the game is more like browsing the YouTube homepage than jacking into the Matrix. But elements like avatars and XP carry over between experiences, and that's where the interconnection begins. If you like being Peely the Banana, you can be Peely while racing cars or playing the guitar. Check out comedy shows.
Perhaps whenever Disney Universe launches, it will be the next step towards a more integrated virtual space. That virtual space is actually similar to what Metaverse technology executives have long touted.