President at Valve Gabe Newell recently gave his opinion about the metaverse. According to the executive, the biggest proponents of the metaverse are only jumping on the latest bandwagon. He believes they have a pretty poor understanding of what the metaverse actually represents.
The news comes from a recent interview with PC Gamer. Speaking about the latest trends in the games industry, Gabe Newell opened up about his impressions of the metaverse. He wasn’t exactly blown away.
“Most of the people who are talking about the metaverse have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about,” Newell said. “And they’ve apparently never played an MMO. They’re like ‘oh, you’ll have this customizable avatar’ and it’s like well, go into La Noscea in Final Fantasy 14 and tell me that this isn’t a solved problem from a decade ago — not some fabulous thing that you’re, you know, inventing.”
Newell referred to science fiction authors like Neal Stephenson who is broadly credited with popularizing the concept of a metaverse. “I’m friends with Neal Stephenson and every time we get together, he just puts his face in his hands. So it’s like ‘okay, what metaverse story is driving you insane today?’”
When it comes to practical applications, the executive doesn’t see much potential in the metaverse for the moment. “There’s a bunch of get-rich-quick schemes around the metaverse,” he remarked. Newell however kept the door open by saying that problems like these will “get sorted out.”
Newell noted how “the gaming industry has been exploring these technologies for a long time.” He went on to say that “it will be interesting to see if anybody who’s sort of coming to the party late has much to add rather than a desire to have a whole bunch of people give them a bunch of money for magic reasons. But you know in the end, customers and useful technology win out, so I’m not super worried about that.”
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Justin Reeve (153 Articles Published)
Justin is an archaeologist specializing in architecture, urbanism and spatial theory. He also happens to be a pilot. But you probably know him as a columnist at Unwinnable and an editor at TheGamer where he writes articles and publishes news about games. You can find some of his work in EGM, Vice, Heterotopias and more.