Although Meta is making significant investments in the metaverse, many people in the sector remain unsure about it and its current status. When several leaders were asked to characterise it at the WSJ Tech Live conference, the technology earned a unique spotlight. One of them, Phil Spencer, the CEO of Microsoft Gaming, called it “a poorly built video game.”
Although he didn’t specifically mention Meta, Spencer voiced displeasure with the way it is being used as a dull professional gathering place, something that Zuckerberg’s business is promoting.
He asserted that video game designers have a remarkable talent for creating engaging worlds that people desire to spend time in. A similar argument was used by Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snap, to define the idea of the metaverse by connecting it to the experiences that users can currently access. The last thing he wanted to do after a long day at work was to “live inside a computer,” he said, describing it as being like doing so.
On the other hand, Disney CEO Bob Chapek insisted that they do not use the term “metaverse” because they view the idea as being too “wide.” It’s “next-generation storytelling” in their eyes.
After sharing a screenshot of his avatar in front of the Eiffel Tower in August, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg drew a tonne of flak and even became the subject of jokes and memes. Many emphasised how Reality Labs, its metaverse branch, spent a budget of literally $10 billion yet still produced an awkward-looking image.
Likely, Meta’s metaverse product will eventually offer more features, despite some of the CEOs’ critical remarks. Spencer said in the later portion of his remarks that even if he compared the metaverse to a mediocre video game, it is still too early to draw broad conclusions from it.
This prospect might be imminent given that Microsoft and Meta just entered into a new partnership to bring the latter’s products, such as Microsoft 365, Windows 365, and Xbox Cloud Gaming services, to Meta Quest 2 and Meta Quest Pro. A company that has the tools and expertise to create realistic game images can be of great assistance to Meta with additional cooperation. Regrettably, for the time being, one must acknowledge that Meta’s efforts have resulted in a sad appearance of the metaverse.