Remember where you were in October 2021? That’s when Mark Zuckerberg announced a corporate name change and his bold plan to build the next digital frontier, the Metaverse. Just 3 months later, Microsoft announced its intention to acquire videogame maker Activision Blizzard for the jaw dropping price or $68.7 billion. Central to Microsoft’s investment thesis: Acquiring a launchpad into the Metaverse.
Fast forward to December 2022. Meta’s stock has dropped by more than 60% and over 11,000 employees have been dropped from the company payroll. Meanwhile, the US Federal Trade Commission has filed an antitrust suite to block Microsoft’s takeover of Activision Blizzard, throwing a significant spanner into their Metaverse ambitions.
While most new technology hype cycles move fast, this one has turned faster than a carton of milk left all day in a hot car! In a year’s time the Metaverse has gone from “the next big thing” to a punchline on late night TV chat shows. Still, to paraphrase Mark Twain, the news of the Metaverse’s demise may be somewhat exaggerated. Like so many disruptive technologies, this one will not be as quick to mature as the initial spinmeisters promised but look a little closer and you’ll see plenty of signs of life.