CES: Experts Ask If Gaming Will Lead Shift to the Metaverse

The idea that gaming might be the industry sector that eventually leads everyone else into the metaverse is being discussed extensively online and elsewhere. During a compelling CES panel, GamesBeat lead writer Dean Takahashi moderated an exploratory conversation about that possibility with a group of today’s leading game innovators and executives. Takahashi noted that the panel’s concept comes in part from Meta vice president of content & play Jason Rubin, who said that the metaverse will need a game engine, therefore game developers will be the first to create it.

Tilt Five co-founder and chief executive Jeri Ellsworth, whose company makes AR glasses for tabletop games, declared she’s a “strong believer that gaming leads a lot of technology.” “The metaverse is currently very hard to define,” she admitted. “But it’s easier to delight people than create a utility tool. At Tilt Five, we want to make something relatable and give users a slice of the metaverse on their table.”

At Munich-based holoride, a tech startup focused on next-gen in-car experiences, chief executive and co-founder Nils Wollny agreed. “When people play, the technology goes into the background,” he said, noting the influence of author Johan Huizinga’s Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play Element in Culture, which emphasizes the importance of play in shaping society.

“The next stage of the Internet moving off the screen into space will have a massive societal impact,” Woolly suggested.

Upland co-founder and co-chief executive Dirk Lueth, who is also the co-founder and chair of the Open Metaverse Alliance (OMA3), stated that games are defined by interacting with others. “The metaverse won’t succeed if it just has better game play but you can’t interact with family and friends,” he said. “Web3 empowers user-centric things, which is what makes it so novel. It can disrupt Big Tech.”

At AREA15, an immersive entertainment venue in Las Vegas, chief technology officer Mark Stutzman described his site as “a black box of curated experiences throughout the world that helps folks move from spectator to participant.”

“Gaming and story are what drive any immersive experience,” he said. “I’m not sure what the metaverse will end up being, but just like Tilt Five, I think it will be an overlay of different worlds on top of the physical world where we can still interact.”

“The thing that’s been missing throughout the product development cycle is that adoption drives what sticks,” he added. “What the world and platforms will be depends on what the consumer adopts and deploys. I’m bullish on all of it.”

He added that he thinks the right path will be an open platform. “There has to be a way to build a larger and larger experience,” he said. “But there are so many walled gardens at the moment.”

Ellsworth noted that this path “will change the monetization” of the big companies. “Game companies realize the dilemma,” agreed Lueth, who noted that generative AI in the hands of consumers will create a lot of innovation. “If their customers can sell it, it will be tough in the gaming industry. People will disappear if they don’t change their business models fast enough.”

No Comments Yet

You can be the first to comment!

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.