Tech companies say the Metaverse is coming, but PC gamers know it’s been there for years


PC Gamer magazine UK Issue 378, US Issue 366.

(Image credit: Future)

This article first appeared in PC Gamer Magazine Issue 378, December 2022 as part of our Tech Report series. Each month we explore and explain the latest technological advances in computing – from the wonderful to the downright weird – with the help of the scientists, researchers and engineers who make it all possible.

It’s been over a year since Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook is now Meta, telling us about a bold new vision for interoperable, connected and immersive 3D worlds where we could do everything from play, to socialize, to to productivity tasks, and then us a nightmarish mix of permanent lockdown and the Mii Channel.

The metaverse has been trending before, being passed around by tech entrepreneurs and industry fortune tellers, but at that moment during the Facebook Connect conference, the world really took notice. When a company with the profile and resources of Facebook — then the sixth largest company in the world by market cap — is doing that much, we should probably start paying attention. That was the thought of 2021.

(Image credit: Meta)

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Just over a year later, Meta’s watched more than half of its enterprise value disappear. It doesn’t even rank among the top 30 companies by market cap right now. Zuckerberg himself watched his value plummet by over $700 billion. Meta’s own metaverse, Horizon Worlds, is attracting 200,000 monthly active users, a headcount well below the 500,000 the company was reportedly hoping for in its first year.


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