Gabe Newell, the co-founder and CEO of Valve Corporation, the company that gave us iconic games like Half-Life and Portal, does not believe in the hype around the metaverse.
In an interview with PC Mag, Newell even went on to say "Most of the people who are talking about metaverse have absolutely no idea what they're talking about".
The hype around the Metaverse
After rebranding his former social media company, Zuckerberg spent billions of dollars in the last quarter of 2021 trying to build the metaverse. A survey conducted last month found that 78 percent of Americans who knew about the metaverse thought that it was all just hype. It wouldn't probably ring very well for Mark Zuckerberg if he knew that 65 percent of people in this survey did not want to purchase anything in the metaverse.
While Newell wasn't talking about one person per se, he called the metaverse ideas floating around a bunch of "get rich quick schemes", which weren't doing much to change technology as much. Newell even added that Neal Stephenson, who has been credited for coining the term 'metaverse', is Newell's friend himself, and that he is at wit's end with all the hype around the metaverse.
How is it different from a game?
Newell, who has been in the gaming industry since 1998, added that the features that metaverse companies have talking futuristically about are the very features that the gaming industry has been exploring and offering for a long time now.
For instance, Newell cites the concept of an online avatar that metaverse companies say will be highly customizable and then points towards Final Fantasy 14, a massively multiplayer online (MMO) game, which does the same. The game was released way back in 2013 allowing Newell to emphasize that the problems the metaverse companies are claiming to solve now have been solved over a decade ago.
Newell thinks that even with their deep pockets, metaverse companies are arriving so late to the stage that they won't be able to offer anything that customers haven't seen before. Nevertheless, useful technology that benefits customers will come out of this entire exercise. That's enough of a win for Newell.