Take-Two CEO ‘skeptical’ of wasteland-filled metaverses supposedly worth millions

A photo of Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick wearing a suit and smiling.

Photo: Jonathan Leibson (Getty Images)

The Metaverse has quickly become a popular topic of speculation for tech companies and wealthy CEOs as they scramble to not be left behind as people search for ways to escape our digital hellish landscape today. today. But the Metaverse is (probably) one giant bust, and Strauss Zelnick, CEO of GTA and Borderlands publisher Take-Two, predicts that companies investing in blockchain-powered metaverses filled with digital lands that don’t really have value may not exist for long.

As spotted by VGCin an interview with gamesindustry.biz yesterdaythe CEO expressed his skepticism about more companies, old and newleaping to attach to the metaverse, suggesting that it’s probably not a good idea to invest in buzzwordsexplaining that “people who invest behind buzzwords probably don’t get great results.”

He was quick to point out, however, that he wasn’t skeptical of the idea of ​​a metaverse-like product – which he defines as something that’s “huge, interactive, dynamic, entertaining”. – pointing to popular Take-Two games like GTA online and NBA 2K as examples of successful metaverse-like worlds.

“So I’m confident that people will go into digital worlds to be entertained,” Zelnick explained. “And if you provide a super entertaining experience, I think people will flock.”

However, Zelnick is skeptical of the sudden influx of new and old companies all trying to create metaverses. We have seen what happens when Facebook and other companies are embarking on the creation of large digital worlds. End results are often lifeless, boring and just exist to exist, rarely offering players a reason to stay or return. And Zelnick points out that creating big, cool, and popular video games and online worlds is “really hard,” costs a ton of money, and takes years of hard work to be successful.

“So when a company that didn’t exist two years ago launches with a white paper, a blockchain-based metaverse and sells hundreds of millions of dollars of digital real estate in a two-day period, sure, I’m a little skeptical,” admitted Zelnick.

It seems that to him, it doesn’t really make sense why these new digital worlds are worth so much money, when there is no entertainment being offered in most metaverses.

“I have a healthy respect for how hard it is to entertain people within [digital worlds], and in the absence of giving people a reason to visit, I don’t know why real estate has value,” Zelnick said. “And that seems to have been lost in the shuffle.”

Read more: The metaverse is already there for the cows and it’s very sad

If you said that this argument certainly helps to better position his own company and his already established and very popular online games like GTA online as leaders of the future digital economy, I would say you had a very valid point. But his point of view also makes sense. None of these new corporate-created metaverses filled with blockchain technology and NFTs are fun places. Right now, people aren’t exactly flocking to hang out in these places – well, aside from the folks who’ve spent thousands of dollars on digital items and worlds and who desperately need you and your friends to buy into all this shit.

And of course, Zelnick hopes that his the company will be one of the most successful in the future, as the demand for entertaining digital worlds continues to grow. But he predicts that many companies investing in all of this won’t have a happy future, saying “just calling something a ‘metaverse'” is no guarantee that what you do will be valuable or sought after. .

“But of course, at the end of the day, all speculation ends. The question is not if, the question is when,” Zelnick said. “And when a lot of money is spent on a word, and it happens in part, you can probably guess how it’s going to end for a lot of people, and I think the answer is ‘not good’.”

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