JAPANESE conglomerate Sony Group said it is well-positioned to play a leading role in the metaverse, or immersive virtual worlds, which commentators speculate will massively disrupt industries and establish new powerhouses. The metaverse is a vague term encapsulating the idea that consumers will spend more time in online simulated environments. While the concept is evolving, it has become a buzzword in briefings and a driver of industry dealmaking. “The metaverse is at the same time a social space and live network space where games, music, movies and anime intersect,” chief executive officer (CEO) Kenichiro Yoshida said at a strategy briefing on Wednesday (May 18), pointing to the use of free-to-play battle royale title Fortnite from Epic Games as an online social space.
“PlayStation has played a huge role in the social gaming revolution that’s nurturing the growth of the metaverse as a new entertainment medium,” Epic’s CEO Tim Sweeney said on Twitter. Sony has also taken steps to expand beyond its focus on single-player titles such as Spider-Man: Miles Morales, with a deal announced in January to buy Bungie, the developer of online multi-player shooter Destiny.