Tim Sweeney: No one should control the metaverse

Epic Games chief executive Tim Sweeney has offered his opinion on companies launching their own teams in the race to be first in the so-called “metaverse space”.

While some of those companies believe that they can conquer this new vertical on a first-come-first-served basis, Sweeney is not convinced that is true.

In fact, he believes that no one company can stake its claim on the metaverse and deliver on it at the expense on everyone else, be that Axie Infinity or Facebook’s attempt to completely rebrand its identity as Meta, the entity that will create a new “meta” world for its consumers.

Sweeney argued that the idea of a metaverse is a broad concept and that no single entity should exercise singular control over it. In an interview for Bloomberg, he stated flatly that “no company can own it”.

The idea of a metaverse is indeed broad. In layman’s terms, a metaverse is a digital space where most human interactions would take place through 3D avatars. These environments are “social” in nature as they allow a high level of communication between participants.

Meta, that is Facebook’s new name, has already presented its idea of a metaverse concept that animates people and launches them in an environment where participants may purchase non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to add cosmetic improvements of their surroundings.

Sweeney acknowledged that there will be competition between individual companies hoping to draw in the biggest number of participants to make their metaverses come to life. In many ways, the metaverse space will resemble any type of online gaming community, but with the added twist of serving a higher purpose than just gaming.

Sweeney said: “The next three years are going to be critical for all of the metaverse-aspiring companies like Epic, Roblox, Microsoft, and Facebook.”

Sweeney is known for his opposition towards any form of centralization. Epic Games was caught in a lawsuit against Apple, alleging that the iOS App Store had been cutting an unfair share out of the company’s gaming app for Fortnite, a blockbuster game with millions of fans all over the world.

Given Epic Games’ expertise with the Unreal Engine, a powerful tool of game creation, means there has already been speculation as to whether the Sweeney-helmed company will venture in to the metaverse.


Updated: 11/18/2021 — 11:00