Xbox's Phil Spencer says Metaverse must revolve around play, not work

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Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg's vision for The Metaverse doesn't sound fun. Instead of being a virtual environment for socialisation and fun, Zuckerberg wants individuals to live and work in digitisation. On the other hand, Xbox boss Phil Spencer wants the exact opposite.

Phil Spencer urges Metaverse devs to make it fun

Current forms of The Metaverse are laser-focused on the ownership of digital assets. From Sandbox and Decentraland to Ethas, nearly all “Metaverse apps” are tired around spending. For example, virtual land in The Sandbox costs cryptocurrency; guns to even play CryptoGuards require money to acquire.

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In an interview with Protocol, Xbox’s Phil Spencer believes that companies are focusing on the wrong aspect of The Metaverse. Instead of focusing on what's good for players, companies like Meta are focusing on what will be the most profitable.

Spencer explained:

“We're spending a lot of time as leaders coming together talking about the learnings that we've had and how the technical underpinnings might come together. But more fundamental to me is why Microsoft? Like, why is this Metaverse that a lot of people are focusing on, why is it better for players? Why is it better for creators?”

The Xbox head explained that learning how gamers react to traditional software will be beneficial to creating a Metaverse. Much like Xbox's with pro-consumer products like Xbox Game Pass, putting players first is important. He said:

 “I think it's easy for a lot of tech companies to describe why the Metaverse might be better for their company. But we've just learned that if we put the player at the center, to use my gaming vocabulary again, and try to build an ecosystem that works around their needs and creator needs, that the platform dynamic will take off.”

Read More: The Metaverse is already spreading dangerous misinformation

Why are Metaverse projects obsessed with money?

More so than typical products, Metaverse products are hyper fixated on draining money out of players. Part of this could be due to the industry’s ties to cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens, both of which require a lot of financial investment.

Exactly like crypto, new Metaverses with their own currencies and NFTs pop up all the time, hoping to entice new customers. In some Metaverses, NFTs are already selling for hundreds of thousands, but that's just the start.