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The metaverse isn’t dead, says the billionaire CEO behind Fortnite— and he’s jokingly trying to hold a wake so 600 million gamers can mourn its passing in ‘real-time 3D’

Tim SweeneyTim Sweeney, the CEO of Epic Games, is bullish on the metaverse.

Epic Games

  • Tim Sweeney on Tuesday mocked the notion that the metaverse is dead.
  • “The metaverse is dead!” he jokingly tweeted. He then invited 600 million VR gamers to an “online wake.”
  • But Sweeney is a long-term supporter of the Metaverse, putting in some serious money into the platform. 

Tim Sweeney, the billionaire CEO of Epic Games, doesn’t think the metaverse is dead.

To prove his point, he mockingly invited 600 million monthly users of popular virtual world video games to an “online wake” for the platform.

“The metaverse is dead! Let’s organize an online wake so that we 600,000,000 monthly active users in Fortnite, Minecraft, Roblox, PUBG Mobile, Sandbox, and VRChat can mourn its passing together in real-time 3D,” Sweeney tweeted on Tuesday.

The tweet has since garnered 2,600 likes and over 400,000 views. 

—Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) May 9, 2023

Sweeney was tweeting in response to a May 8 Insider post by Ed Zitron, the CEO of EZPR, a tech and business public-relations agency that proclaimed the demise of the metaverse. 

And Sweeney probably isn’t being serious. After all, Epic Games — developer of Fortnite — is putting serious money into the metaverse. In April last year, Epic Games raised $2 billion from Sony and investment firm KIRKBI, the holding company behind the LEGO Group, to “advance the company’s vision to build the metaverse.”

His comment was soon echoed by Sandbox CEO Sebastien Borget, who called on the players of virtual world games to share a picture of themselves in the “so called ‘dead Metaverse'”

—Sebastien 🏞 (@borgetsebastien) May 9, 2023


In March, Sweeney told, a video games-focused news site, that the metaverse “is happening for real.”

His comments come amid an intense ongoing debate about the future of the tech following the explosive popularity of the AI chatbot ChatGPT.

Bill Gates, for one, has a tepid outlook on the Web3 and the metaverse but thinks artificial intelligence, or AI, is “quite revolutionary.”

And even though the industry might have given up on the platform, Meta — and its staunchest supporter Mark Zuckerberg — seemingly haven’t. 

“A narrative has developed that we’re somehow moving away from focusing on the metaverse vision,” Zuckerberg told investors at a recent company investor call. “So I just want to say upfront that, that’s not accurate.” 

Moreover, Meta’s still trying to convince users that the metaverse is alive and kicking and could potentially be lucrative. A recent Deloitte study commissioned by Meta showed the metaverse could contribute as much as $760 billion — or 2.4% — to America’s annual GDP by 2035. 

Sweeney did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment sent outside regular business hours.

Read the original article on Business Insider