The Metaverse™, as brought to you by Big Bad Mega-Conglomerate®. It’s one of Tim Sweeney’s big nightmares for the future of virtual reality.
The Epic Games CEO spoke about this at our recent GamesBeat Summit. He worries that the major platforms will want to lock down key advancements in virtual reality, to the point that the concept of the massive virtual worlds we see in works like Ready Player One will only become reality thanks to one company’s tech.
It’s a fair concern. Sweeney has been raising red flags about Microsoft’s potential to close off Windows for some time now, so it’s natural that he’d have his eyes on keeping future platforms open as well. It’s key to Epic’s business, since it provides a game engine (Unreal) for developing on just about every game platform (along with selling games, too). Oculus has it own store for games, but Steam is also there, selling plenty of VR titles from just about everybody in the business.
But is this a realistic fear at this point of VR development? Just this past week, we saw Microsoft show off new gear, Oculus give VR devs more support, and Vivid Vision raise more than $2 million to use VR tools in health care. We’re seeing tons of action, on many fronts, in this young but growing sector.
But to continue that growth and keep it open, we need to heed Sweeney’s words and watch out for anyone trying to monopolize the metaverse.
For AR/VR coverage, send news tips to Dean Takahashi and Jeff Grubb (for those that cross over into PC gaming). Please send guest post submissions toRowan Kaiser. Please be sure to visit our AR/VR Channel.
—Jason Wilson, GamesBeat managing editor
P.S. Science fiction continues to influence how tech, including VR, evolves.