The metaverse is dead. Don’t believe me? This article makes some pretty compelling arguments, including the fact that even Meta is bailing on it!
The article from Ed Zitron at Business Insider (RIP Metaverse, available here) states this:
“The Metaverse, the once-buzzy technology that promised to allow users to hang out awkwardly in a disorientating video-game-like world, has died after being abandoned by the business world.”
How excited about the metaverse was the business world? Consider this:
“Companies’ rush to get into the game led Wall Street investors, consultants, and analysts to try to one up each other’s projections for the Metaverse’s growth. The consulting firm Gartner claimed that 25% of people would spend at least one hour a day in the Metaverse by 2026. The Wall Street Journal said the Metaverse would change the way we work forever. The global consulting firm McKinsey predicted that the Metaverse could generate up to “$5 trillion in value,” adding that around 95% of business leaders expected the Metaverse to “positively impact their industry” within five to 10 years. Not to be outdone, Citi put out a massive report that declared the Metaverse would be a $13 trillion opportunity.”
So, how does the author make his case now that the metaverse is dead? Here are some of the key points:
- Decentraland, the most well-funded, decentralized, crypto-based Metaverse product (effectively a wonky online world you can “walk” around), only had around 38 active users in a 24-hour period in its “$1.3 billion ecosystem” and it’s own claim on 8,000 daily active users wasn’t much better.
- Mashable reported that Meta’s Horizon Worlds had less than 200,000 monthly active users — dramatically short of the 500,000 target Meta had set for the end of 2022.
- The Wall Street Journal reported that only about 9% of user-created worlds were visited by more than 50 players, and The Verge said that it was so buggy that even Meta employees eschewed it.
- Microsoft shuttered its virtual-workspace platform AltSpaceVR in January 2023 and laid off the 100 members of its “industrial metaverse team”.
- Disney shuttered its Metaverse division in March, and Walmart followed suit by ending its Roblox-based Metaverse projects.
But Meta is still committed, right? Apparently not:
“But the Metaverse was officially pulled off life support when it became clear that Zuckerberg and the company that launched the craze had moved on to greener financial pastures. Zuckerberg declared in a March update that Meta’s ‘single largest investment is advancing AI and building it into every one of our products.’ Meta’s chief technology officer, Andrew Bosworth, told CNBC in April that he, along with Mark Zuckerberg and the company’s chief product officer, Chris Cox, were now spending most of their time on AI. The company has even stopped pitching the Metaverse to advertisers, despite spending more than $100 billion in research and development on its mission to be ‘Metaverse first.’ While Zuckerberg may suggest that developing games for the Quest headsets is some sort of investment, the writing is on the wall: Meta is done with the Metaverse.”
It certainly sounds to me like the metaverse is dead. What’s the hot tech trend now? You guessed it – generative AI. Did generative AI “kill” the metaverse, or did it die of neglect? Or (to paraphrase a famous Mark Twain quote) are the reports of its death “grossly exaggerated”? You decide.
So, what do you think? Do you agree that the metaverse is dead? Or is it just happening a lot slower than many people expected it would? Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.
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