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Facebook not innovative, metaverse to be led by smaller cos: Ex-Nintendo America prez

Facebook not innovative, metaverse to be led by smaller cos: Ex-Nintendo America prez
14 Mar, 2022
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Reggie Fils-Aime, ex-president and chief operating officer of Nintendo of America, criticised Facebook and its vision of the metaverse in a recent interview. Speaking at a Bloomberg interview at the SXSW conference yesterday, 13 March, Fils-Aime, a veteran of the gaming industry, suggested that the “current definition” of the metaverse according to Facebook may not be the right step forward for the industry.

During the interview, Fils-Aime stated that Facebook is “not an innovative company”. He said that as a company, Facebook has either always acquired “interesting” products such as Oculus and Instagram, or been a “fast follower” of ideas that have been brought forth by others. Based on this, Fils-Aime went on to suggest that Facebook (now Meta Platforms)’s current definition of the metaverse would be successful.

The concept of the metaverse has remained up for debate, particularly since Facebook’s presentation of its vision for the future – and a subsequent rebranding of the company name. Ever since Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg spoke about the metaverse, numerous other companies – including big names such as Microsoft and Nvidia – have presented their own visions of how the mixed reality universe could be implemented.

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Numerous web3 ventures have also come to the fore, presenting a gamified virtual world where users can interact with individuals and objects, buy virtual real estate, conduct business and even host governance centres. For instance, ventures such as The Sandbox and Decentraland have presented virtual worlds offering a representation of how the metaverse has been conceived so far. In terms of governance, South Korean capital Seoul’s government has also announced a metaverse initiative that would allow residents to reach out to civic bodies – and for businesses to ferry their wares virtually.

However, the idea of the metaverse still remains up for debate. What now remains to be seen is how individuals can interact at a greater level than basic virtual interactions that are already possible through browser-based windows.

On this note, Fils-Aime further said that he expects “smaller companies that are really innovating” to lead in terms of conceptualising a more concrete idea of the metaverse. With this, he becomes the latest voice calling out Facebook for its practice of acquiring competitive companies – something for which the company has received major regulatory backlash around the world.

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