The Metaverse™, as brought to you by Big Bad Mega-Conglomerate®. It’s one of Tim Sweeney’s big nightmares for the future of virtual reality.

The Epic Games CEO spoke about this at our recent GamesBeat Summit. He worries that the major platforms will want to lock down key advancements in virtual reality, to the point that the concept of the massive virtual worlds we see in works like Ready Player One will only become reality thanks to one company’s tech.

It’s a fair concern. Sweeney has been raising red flags about Microsoft’s potential to close off Windows for some time now, so it’s natural that he’d have his eyes on keeping future platforms open as well. It’s key to Epic’s business, since it provides a game engine (Unreal) for developing on just about every game platform (along with selling games, too). Oculus has it own store for games, but Steam is also there, selling plenty of VR titles from just about everybody in the business.

But is this a realistic fear at this point of VR development? Just this past week, we saw Microsoft show off new gear, Oculus give VR devs more support, and Vivid Vision raise more than $2 million to use VR tools in health care. We’re seeing tons of action, on many fronts, in this young but growing sector.

But to continue that growth and keep it open, we need to heed Sweeney’s words and watch out for anyone trying to monopolize the metaverse.

For AR/VR coverage, send news tips to Dean Takahashi and Jeff Grubb (for those that cross over into PC gaming). Please send guest post submissions to Rowan Kaiser. Please be sure to visit our AR/VR Channel.

—Jason Wilson, GamesBeat managing editor

P.S. Science fiction continues to influence how tech, including VR, evolves.

From GamesBeat

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Epic Games’ Tim Sweeney fears the Metaverse will be a proprietary technology

Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, believes the future of gaming is coming faster than we think. But he’s also worried that industry giants will try too hard to own the platforms upon which those games are built, and that will lead to toll booths, a lack of open standards, and a loss of privacy. […]

Vreal CEO Todd Hooper on the joys of VR livestreaming

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ProBeat: Microsoft’s Fluent Design System is boring, and that’s a good thing

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Microsoft unveils Windows Mixed Reality motion controllers, Acer promises VR bundle for $399 ‘this holiday’

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Vivid Vision raises $2.2 million to build VR tools to treat ‘lazy eye’

Startup Vivid Vision said today it has raised $2.2 million in a seed round to build VR tools that could be used to treat eye problems known as “lazy eye.” San Francisco-based Vivid Vision raised the money from SoftTech VC’s Jeff Clavier, as well as The Venture Reality Fund (The VR Fund), CRCM Ventures, SOS Ventures, […]

Beyond GamesBeat

Farpoint Review: A Good Game That Could Have Been Great

Unlike in the case of PlayStation’s Move or Xbox’s Kinect, it seems like Sony is actually getting serious about VR. Even though the PlayStation VR (PSVR) headset released several months ago in mid-October, it felt more like a soft launch until recently. And finally, Farpoint feels like the big splash fans have been waiting for — although it isn’t as great as it could have been. (via UploadVR)

PSVR Aim Controller Review: Feel The Game Like Never Before

After VR headsets started coming out though I had to get used to having a clunky add-on around really quickly. But now that we’re a full year into the life cycle of the consumer VR market peripherals for add-ons (such as the PlayStation VR (PSVR) Aim Controller for the PSVR itself) are now a thing and the amount of space they take up is more than doubled.But don’t worry. I’m here to tell you that the PSVR Aim Controller is, despite the odds, an extra hunk of plastic all PSVR owners are gonna want to have lying around the house. (via UploadVR)

Let’s Prove the Future is Female and Alter Reality

One of the biggest hurdles that women entrepreneurs face is access to funds and the solid support that is needed when the growth stage of a business comes. We’re hoping to help solve that for the VR/AR industry along with a coalition of industry players. These organizations include venture, corporate, media and startup partners dedicated to elevating women founders and offering capital and support resources to advance their startups. (via VR Scout)

Where are the Daydream VR phones Google promised?

When Google announced the Daydream virtual reality platform at its 2016 I/O conference, the system was pitched as a core feature of Android Nougat, with strong support from manufacturers. Almost every major Android phone maker was supposed to be releasing a Daydream-ready phone, which would work with any Daydream-compatible mobile headset. But one year later, the platform is still niche, and a lot of these partners have been keeping quiet about their plans. (via The Verge)

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