Technology | May 20, 2022

Metaverse Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

At TheCUBE, we love being on top of new technology trends and startups. Sometimes, one of these trends becomes so big it is hard to avoid, due to the social or economic shift it poses. We are sure you heard this new buzzword that is going around: “Metaverse”.

With all new technologies comes excitement, bold predictions, monetary speculation and of course, FOMO (fear of missing out).

To understand where this trend comes from let’s take a look at the timeline and the two key players in the “Metaverse Wars”:

  • 4th October 2021 - An ex-Facebook employee turns whistleblower and brings controversy around Facebook and how it handles or even spreads misinformation in their social platforms.


  • 28 October 2021 - In an unexpected and totally uncalculated timing, Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook CEO) announces the new strategy for Facebook, along with their new name: Meta. Their new focus will be on building the metaverse, a virtual space where digital representations of people – avatars – interact at work and play.


  • November 3rd 2021 - Just 6 days later, The Empire Strikes Back. Of course, in this Star Wars analogy, Microsoft is the Empire. In their video, Satya Nadella (CEO) announces Microsoft’s vision for the Metaverse, with a focus on embedding computing in the real world and vice versa. Sadly, they didn’t change their name to Verse.

Besides Meta (Facebook) and Microsoft, there are of course other players competing in the space, such as Lego and Epic Games, that recently announced a partnership to create a metaverse safe for kids. Worthy opponents, as Epic Games has one the most powerful 3D creation tools for game development, Unreal Engine, and created one of the most popular games where they hosted virtual experiences and concerts in the past: Fortnite.

We must also mention the Cryptocurrency and NFT related metaverses, as they are also being widely talked about. The two most popular ones are Decentraland and Sandbox, with an existing metaverse experience and somewhat large user bases. The other promising crypto metaverse is Bored Ape Yacht Club (by YugaLabs), one of the most popular NFT collections that recently raised $320 Million in virtual land sales to create their own metaverse.

We won’t go into more detail in this post, but if you’d be interested in learning more on cryptocurrency, blockchain or NFT technology, let us know and we will do another in depth blog, or speak to us about having a blockchain workshop. It was only recently we had a workshop with one of our clients where they sent their first crypto transactions, and even created their own NFT without any prior knowledge. They had a great time!

So, who will win the Metaverse Wars?

Hard to say, really. Microsoft has a vast presence in workspaces through Microsoft Teams, making the workspace integration for virtual reality much smoother than forcing companies to adopt a new and untested workspace environment.

Microsoft also has a massive player base in the games they own, those exclusive on Xbox, or even Minecraft, one of the biggest virtual sandbox games that you can even play in VR. Besides, they recently announced plans to acquire Activision, one of the biggest game studios in the world with a massive active player base.

It’s therefore safe to say that in terms of experience on how to create virtual and immersive experiences (not necessarily in VR), Microsoft has the upper hand. Meta (Facebook) on the other hand, has one of the best and most affordable VR platforms, Oculus Quest 2, making it the more likely go-to option for a VR Metaverse experience. With their experience in social platforms and social interaction, they are likely to introduce exciting new ways to interact, although it is hard to see a VR integration for Instagram or Whatsapp. It is clear, however, that they will face an uphill battle getting user adoption for their metaverse communitacion software, workspace environments, or when developing VR games and experiences.

For crypto related metaverses, they are unlikely to compete on the same level as Meta and Microsoft, but bring exciting new additions to the metaverse, such as in-game economies and the use of NFTs for virtual land purchases or in-game items. However, these are the very things that may cause their user base to fluctuate greatly, since the underlying assets and cryptocurrency coins may lose value, and in turn cause their users to lose interest due to a decreased monetary incentive.

For now though, all we can say is the Metaverse Wars will be interesting to watch, and will bring amazing opportunities and technology advancements that we will soon use in our day to day lives. Now tell us, will we see you in the metaverse?


Innovation Project Manager

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