/* ---- Google Analytics Code Below */

Monday, August 15, 2022

Future of Metaverse: An Interview with Matthew Ball

Matthew Ball, Metaverse Theorist,  with a book forthcoming that I will read ...  on the Metaverse: 

We've never seen a shift this enormous  ...

By Janko Roettgers     an interview excerpt in Protocol. 

The leading metaverse theorist shares his thoughts on the sudden rise of the concept, its utility for the enterprise and what we still get wrong about the metaverse.

Talk to anyone in AR, VR or immersive entertainment about the metaverse, and they’ll sooner or later drop his name. Ball’s work has been hailed by Mark Zuckerberg, Tim Sweeney and Reed Hastings, just to name a few of his better-known fans, and his work has been called a must-read for anyone who wants to know about the next big thing.

The former Amazon Video executive-turned-VC began writing essays about the metaverse in early 2019. He has since become the leading theorist for the next version of the internet. His book, “The Metaverse And How It Will Revolutionize Everything,” is coming out this month, and Ball sat down with Protocol this week for a chat about all things metaverse.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

When you published your first essay about the metaverse in early 2019, it was still a pretty obscure concept. Two years later, Facebook changed its name to Meta, and everyone was talking about the metaverse. Did this pace of change surprise you?

Yes and no. I have never experienced a buzzword become as dominant as rapidly as the metaverse did. Seven of the 11 largest companies on earth have either renamed themselves, made the largest acquisitions in Big Tech history, reorganized or prepped their largest and most significant product launches in decades around this field. I think that's unprecedented. We've never seen a shift this enormous.

But the overall transition of investments and corporate strategy doesn't surprise me. When I started writing the piece based on my experiences in Fortnite and Roblox in 2018, you could feel that transformation happening. We know that in 2018, [Facebook gaming executive] Jason Rubin wrote an internal memo saying that the metaverse was theirs to lose. We know that in 2015, [Facebook] looked at buying Unity.

In 2015, Tim Sweeney was talking about the metaverse, and in 2016, he was warning of its extraordinary significance to civilization. This has been actively in investment for at least half a decade. The rise, though surprising, reflects how much was happening behind the scenes up until that moment.

How much did it matter that Facebook changed its name to Meta, and Zuckerberg identified the metaverse as the future of the company?

Having what was at the time the seventh largest company on earth say “this is our future” — and warning investors, signaling to partners, telling employees, telling prospective employees this was their future — was pretty extraordinary and forced everyone else to take it seriously.  ... ' 

No comments: