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The Elder Scrolls Online Creative Director on Metaverse: "They Should Stop Treating It Like It's New"

"You cannot have a metaverse without something to do inside the metaverse."

Image credit: ZeniMax Online Studios | The Elder Scrolls Online

AI is the current star of the tech world, but 2 years ago, Zuckerberg and other "big" people were all about the metaverse. If you to this day don't quite understand what it means, don't worry: you're not alone. The term is treated differently by people but mostly means a virtual world where you live as an avatar interacting with other users.

You might be thinking about VRChat or Second Life, and I can't blame you, but this is the problem exactly: don't we already have plenty of examples where this mysterious way of life is possible?

At least that's what The Elder Scrolls Online's creative director Matt Firor thinks. In an interview with Gamesindustry.biz, he said that the metaverse is nothing new and we should stop pretending it's an innovation. One of the reasons why it never produced the resonance its creators hoped for is the emptiness of these virtual worlds.

"Absolutely you cannot have a metaverse without something to do inside the metaverse. That was last year's buzzword, right? This year it's all about AI and nobody's talking about the metaverse anymore."

Moreover, people might be hesitant to transport their lives into the metaverse because there's hardly much freedom in a simulation controlled by a single company. Firor thinks such places should be regulated by their users:

"Metaverses, or what I prefer to call virtual worlds, need to be online communities. There's no reason why Reddit couldn't be considered one; it's a text-based virtual world. My earliest games were text-based, with no graphics at all, and they were very much virtual worlds where people got together, chatted, and had fun."

He added that the metaverse talk was a tech discussion, "which is very big in Silicon Valley when you're looking for investment. But nobody will play a virtual world if there's nothing to do inside the virtual world, so it's really a content and systems discussion."

The tech has been around forever, though, just take any MMO.

"We've been doing [connected worlds] for 20 years. It's not new, and they should stop treating it like it's new and get input from people who have been doing this a while."

With shifted focus and Meta's metaverse-focused Reality Labs losing billions of dollars, I doubt this chapter of our(someone's?) lives will come back in full force. 

What do you think about Firor's take? Read the full interview here and join our 80 Level Talent platform and our Telegram channel, follow us on InstagramTwitter, and LinkedIn, where we share breakdowns, the latest news, awesome artworks, and more.

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