Mark Zuckerberg’s metaverse ‘is not innovative’, says gaming industry veteran

Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder, chairman, chief executive officer and controlling shareholder of Meta Platforms, Inc., tags: metaverse vision innovative - CC BY-SA

Meta, formerly Facebook, founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is one of the front liners in setting forth the idea of a network of 3D virtual worlds with a huge emphasis on social connection or the metaverse. However, one individual, in particular, found skepticism in Zuckerberg’s idea.

The individual in question is a video game veteran and American businessman Reggie Fils-Aimé who thinks that Zuckerberg’s Meta “is not an innovative company” and “they were quick to follow people”. Fils-Aimé’s comments have yet to receive any statements from Zuckerberg or Meta.

Smaller companies, Meta’s stock plummeted

Zuckerberg has been focusing on the concept of the metaverse or a version of the internet that involves virtual reality and immersive technologies in general.

The aim of Meta is to intertwine these technologies to Facebook’s social networking aspect and Zuckerberg has been working to set forth this vision. In October 2021, Zuckerberg refurnished Facebook as Meta and the 37-year-old is keen on further developing Meta’s vision of the metaverse.

On the other hand, speaking to Emily Chang at an event in Austin, Texas on Saturday, Fils-Aimé former Nintendo executive added, Meta’s “current definition” will not be successful. Instead, innovation for the digital future comes from smaller companies like example Epic Games, which he claimed has been doing “compelling” things.

“Facebook itself is not an innovative company,” the 60-year-old said. “They have either acquired interesting things like Oculus and Instagram, or they’ve been a fast follower of people’s ideas. I don’t think their current definition will be successful.”

Instead, the former president and CEO of Nintendo of America has noticed that smaller firms either in seed or funding rounds would provide more innovation for the industry and eventually drive the metaverse forward.

He praised the previous cases of gaming acquisitions from Take-Two Interactive’s purchase of Zynga Inc. and dubbed Microsoft’s interest in acquiring Activision Blizzard “a fantastic purchase”.

Possible solution

More about Meta, Fils-Aimé explained the company focuses on advertisers and this is reflected from 98% of its revenue are digital advertisings and for Fils-Aimé, Meta needed to put the consumer first if they really wanted to be innovative.

“In order to be innovative, you really need to be thinking about the consumer first,” he added.

Notably, Meta’s year-to-date stock has plummeted by 45% following a great drop in Facebook’s daily active user base as shown in the company’s fourth-quarter earnings report per Business Insider.

While Zuckerberg’s Meta has been marketed as the future of pretty much everything of humans’ day-to-day activity from concerts to even recruitment, a tech executive Phil Libin has voiced the same tone as Fils-Aimé.

Libin went on beyond to compare the existing hype surrounding the metaverse is similar to Soviet propaganda he had experienced as a child. He dubbed Zuckerberg’s Meta as an “old idea”.

Fils-Aimé has been quite vocal in criticizing the industry in which he is involved. Previously, the gaming industry veteran had criticized the lack of responses from the gaming industry to address its diversity challenges adding: “The representation in the game and in the leadership is not at all where it should be”.

In addition, he revitalized Nintendo’s significance as one of the major players in the video game consoles competition between Sony and Microsoft. As for, Meta, its stock is yet to show any sign of recovery, and Fils-Aimé may be right as there are other platforms doing similar things with Zuckerberg’s Meta on the metaverse.