Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft’s gaming business and head of Xbox, has leveled some criticism at the idea of the metaverse and the way it is executed. Spencer pointed out that for him, the current metaverse is a “poorly constructed video game“, but also that the industry is still in its infancy and will surely evolve.
Phil Spencer criticizes today’s metaverse
While the still vague concept of the “metaverse” has been exploited by several companies that want to capitalize on the advantage of being pioneers in an industry, other prominent figures have criticized the current industry. Phil Spencer, head of Xbox at Microsoft, criticized the current metaverse technology at the WSJ Live convention, noting that it was not yet polished.
About today’s metaverse, Spencer stated:
It’s a poorly constructed video game.
Many interpreted this statement as an indirect jab at Meta, which has already been criticized for the poor graphics of its flagship Horizon Worlds app compared to modern video games. Spencer later expanded on his remarks, explaining that “video game creators have an amazing ability to build compelling worlds that we want to go spend time in; building a metaverse that looks like a living room is not how I want to spend my time.“
However, Spencer does not yet rule out the concept of metavers. For the executive, the industry is still in its infancy, and he believes that the metaverse will evolve to become like current video games.
Spencer’s previous criticisms of the metaverse
This is not the first time that Spencer has expressed skepticism about the hype surrounding the current metaverse concept. In August, Spencer explained that for him, the metaverse is nothing new and has been around for more than 30 years, including 3D games as part of that technology. He also stated that the models “play-to-earn“(P2E) were a “hammer looking for a nail“.
Similarly, Spencer rejected the NFT (non-fungible token) model of play, calling it exploitative and full of “speculation and experimentation.“In January, Microsoft revealed the acquisition of Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion, stating that the games would play “a key role in the development of metaverse platforms.“