In a recent presentation at this year's Game Developers Conference (GDC), Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney shared his vision of the metaverse, emphasizing the need for it to be open rather than "another walled garden." Sweeney believes that Web3 gaming and the metaverse are happening for real, but warns that Apple could potentially hamper their vision by trying to "crush the metaverse, or extract all the profit from it."
Epic Games' Unified Vision of the Metaverse
During the State of Unreal 2023 keynote, Epic Games showcased what's included in Unreal Engine 5.2 and announced the new Unreal Editor for Fortnite. The company also revealed plans to combine the Unreal Marketplace, Sketchfab, ArtStation Marketplace, and Quixel Bridge into a unified 3D marketplace called Fab.
In an interview with Gamesindustry.biz, Sweeney claimed that the gaming industry represents the perfect place for an open ecosystem, as there isn't one predominant company that can dictate terms. He explained that an open metaverse would be more attractive to players, enabling real-world experiences with real-world friends.
Sweeney's vision of the metaverse does not include NFTs and blockchain technology, as Epic Games is not interested in these technologies. He believes that the current in-game currencies, such as Robux and V-Bucks, are adequate for the metaverse.
Apple's Potential Threat to the Open Metaverse
While Sweeney is optimistic about overcoming most challenges, he expresses concern that Apple could pose the most significant threat to the open metaverse vision. He thinks that Apple, as the second-largest mobile phone manufacturer, could use its market power and hardware to dominate the metaverse.
Sweeney's concern arises from the fact that Apple has previously blocked the Epic Games Store from being available on iOS devices, citing competition issues. He argues that companies should be able to live on their merits in an open environment, which is what Epic Games aims to achieve with its vision of the metaverse.
Web3 Gaming and the Future of the Metaverse
Blockchain games and the metaverse continue to gain momentum, with the gaming industry playing a crucial role in their development. Earlier this month, Epic Games Store GM Steve Allison announced that nearly 20 more Web3 games are set to release on the Fortnite developer's store.
An open metaverse, as envisioned by Epic Games, could potentially revolutionize the gaming industry and the way people interact with each other in virtual environments. By advocating for an open ecosystem and fostering collaboration among developers and publishers, Epic Games aims to create a more immersive and connected experience for players around the world.
In conclusion, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney's vision of an open metaverse highlights the need for collaboration and inclusivity in the rapidly evolving world of Web3 gaming and digital experiences. However, potential threats from major players like Apple could pose challenges to the realization of this vision. As the gaming industry continues to grow and embrace the potential of the metaverse, developers, publishers, and platform owners must work together to ensure a truly open and connected digital world.