Online game Fortnite is arguably the closest thing to the metaverse that exists today. Some 70mn gamers immerse themselves in its digital world each month to engage in ‘Battle Royale’ fights.
But virtual concerts, talk shows, and the ability simply to hang out with friends have transformed Fortnite into something beyond a game: a preview of what digital platforms could look like beyond the smartphone, as virtual world and real life merge.
Fortnite’s parent company, Epic, increasingly sees the game as an open ecosystem where other developers can distribute their content.
But in a candid interview with the FT’s San Francisco correspondent Patrick McGee, Epic chief executive Tim Sweeney expressed his concerns that tech giants Apple and Google could “unfairly” extend their “stranglehold” on smartphone platforms to “dominate all physical commerce taking place in virtual and augmented reality.”