Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, is gaming royalty. Not only did he found and grow Epic Games into the force it is today, but he created the Unreal Engine, and turned Fortnite into so much more than a game. Blockchain technology is so well aligned with his ambitions it ought not to be surprising that it has his attention, but we’re pleased it does nevertheless.
Last month I wrote several articles on why Steam’s ban of blockchain games from their platform felt like betrayal. In these, I nodded appreciatively at Tim Sweeney who publicly opened his arms to Steam refugees and future blockchain gaming projects.
Sweeney’s career has embellished my life and cultivated my love of gaming, from playing Unreal Tournament, to making maps for Unreal 2k4, to constantly taking on Apple and Google when they abuse their positions. Now I’m back cheering him on with the metaverse.
The Metaverse Is a Race to Get a Billion Users
Last week, I called out a popular crypto YouTuber (with no malice, might I add) for implying that there will be one metaverse owned by one entity. I don’t believe that to be the case, and my reply was, “I’m not sure the question makes sense. Like asking which website will be THE internet. Unless you mean which part of the metaverse will be the most significant.”
Incidentally, Sweeney said something strikingly similar: “The metaverse is a term like the internet. No company can own it.” Nevertheless, there is a race to be one of the leading forces and Epic Games are preferable to Facebook-sorry-Meta every day of every week.
At a conference in South Korea, Sweeney said,
“Over the coming decades, the metaverse has the potential to become a multitrillion-dollar part of the world economy … The next three years are going to be critical for all of the metaverse-aspiring companies like Epic, Roblox, Microsoft, Facebook … It’s kind of a race to get to a billion users, whoever brings on a billion users first, would be the presumed leader in setting the standards.”Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games. Quotes taken from Bloomberg.
Why Tim Sweeney Is the Right Person for the Job
As is hopefully clear from the internet analogy, we’re not looking for one metaverse or one creator. However, it is naive to suggest that major corporations aren’t going to be throwing fists full of cash at this multitrillion-dollar opportunity. Those who dominated Web 2.0 will want to retain their respective crowns in Web 3.0, and everyone else will see this as a rare window to more influence. While I would argue Mark Zuckerberg is wholly unsuitable for the position, mainstream adoption will bring heavy hitters. So, if we have to pick a titan as a frontrunner, I hope Tim Sweeney is a candidate.
Firstly, Sweeney’s pedigree in gaming is more or less unparalleled. Secondly, his pushback against major corporations somewhat disaligns him with the more unscrupulous members of Big Tech. Finally, some of his projects at Epic have been crying out for blockchain before it was even on the table. For instance, he turned Fortnite into something akin to social media with digital concerts. This is a concept that’s fast becoming commonplace with companies like CEEK VR.
While Sweeney and Epic have been outspoken in their support of blockchain gaming, and the metaverse and its significance, what moves they make in the space remains to be seen. Sweeney created one of the most important gaming development tools in history with Unreal Engine. Epic is now allegedly building software for digital assets as we speak. If he and Epic were to develop something of similar impact that helped games and companies create within the metaverse, they would be printing money, and more importantly, shaping the future of gaming.