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What is the metaverse, and do I have to care? – The Verge

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One part definition, one part aspiration, one part hype
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In recent months you may have heard about something called the metaverse. Maybe you’ve read that the metaverse is going to replace the internet. Maybe we’re all supposed to live there. Maybe Facebook (or Epic, or Roblox, or dozens of smaller companies) is trying to take it over. And maybe it’s got something to do with NFTs?
Unlike a lot of things The Verge covers, the metaverse is tough to explain for one reason: it doesn’t necessarily exist. It’s partly a dream for the future of the internet and partly a neat way to encapsulate some current trends in online infrastructure, including the growth of real-time 3D worlds.
But let’s get to the fun part. Will you start checking your Facebook feed in Fortnite with a pair of augmented reality glasses? Will your friends invite you to cyber-brunch instead of normal brunch? Time to jack in and figure it out.
Correct. Neal Stephenson famously coined the term “metaverse” in his 1992 novel Snow Crash, where it referred to a 3D virtual world inhabited by avatars of real people. Lots of other science fiction media includes metaverse-like systems (some of them predating Snow Crash). But Stephenson’s book remains one of the most common reference points for metaverse enthusiasts, along with Ernest Cline’s 2011 novel Ready Player One.
Snow Crash’s metaverse is an outgrowth of Stephenson’s satirical corporation-dominated future America, but it’s undeniably depicted as having a cool side. (The protagonist is a master hacker who gets in katana fights at a virtual nightclub. No amount of narrative self-awareness can fool readers into thinking that’s not supposed to be fun.) Ready Player One’s virtual world is symbolically named the OASIS, and Cline portrays it as an almost utopian source of escapism in a horrible future.
On one hand, emulating the virtual worlds of Snow Crash or Ready Player One is less deliberately creepy than naming your tech initiative “Skynet” or your nutrient shake after Soylent Green. On the other hand, science fiction stories can conjure a vivid picture of “the metaverse” without illuminating how it should work or why it should exist.
There’s no universally accepted definition of a real “metaverse,” except maybe that it’s a fancier successor to the internet. Silicon Valley metaverse proponents sometimes reference a description from venture capitalist Matthew Ball, author of the extensive Metaverse Primer:
“The Metaverse is an expansive network of persistent, real-time rendered 3D worlds and simulations that support continuity of identity, objects, history, payments, and entitlements, and can be experienced synchronously by an effectively unlimited number of users, each with an individual sense of presence.”
Facebook, arguably the tech company with the biggest stake in the metaverse, describes it more simply:
“The ‘metaverse’ is a set of virtual spaces where you can create and explore with other people who aren’t in the same physical space as you.”
There are also broader metaverse-related taxonomies like one from game designer Raph Koster, who draws a distinction between “online worlds,” “multiverses,” and “metaverses.” To Koster, online worlds are digital spaces — from rich 3D environments to text-based ones — focused on one main theme. Multiverses are “multiple different worlds connected in a network, which do not have a shared theme or ruleset,” including Ready Player One’s OASIS. And a metaverse is “a multiverse which interoperates more with the real world,” incorporating things like augmented reality overlays, VR dressing rooms for real stores, and even apps like Google Maps.
If you want something a little snarkier and more impressionistic, you can cite digital scholar Janet Murray — who has described the modern metaverse ideal as “a magical Zoom meeting that has all the playful release of Animal Crossing.”
An astute observation.
Right now, tech industry figures who talk about “the metaverse” are usually excited about digital platforms that include some of the following things:
But in most current discourse, “the metaverse” arguably isn’t a fixed set of attributes. It’s an aspirational term for a future digital world that feels more tangibly connected to our real lives and bodies.
People like Tim Sweeney (CEO of Fortnite publisher Epic) and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg often say they’re just building one piece of a larger interconnected metaverse, similar to an individual social network on the present-day internet. “The metaverse isn’t a single product one company can build alone. Just like the internet, the metaverse exists whether Facebook is there or not,” one recent Facebook statement reads.
But informally, “metaverse” is also used to describe a single platform that meets the criteria listed above. Second Life, a virtual world that isn’t a traditional game, has been frequently described as a metaverse. Sweeney has described Fortnite’s user experience as a metaverse because it’s a virtual 3D space that mixes gaming and non-gaming elements. Roblox CEO David Baszucki coyly notes that “some people refer to what we’re building as the Metaverse.”
If you like Koster’s “multiverse” definition, there are also arguably several standalone multiverses. Microsoft’s Minecraft gets less hype than Roblox these days, but it enables similar activities through modding. So do lower-profile services like The Sandbox, which incorporates a complex cryptocurrency-based economy as well.
Matthew Ball favors the term “metaverse” because it creates a clean break with the present-day internet. “Using the metaverse as a distinctive descriptor allows us to understand the enormity of that change and in turn, the opportunity for disruption,” he said in a phone interview with The Verge. “It’s much harder to say ‘we’re late-cycle into the last thing and want to change it.’ But I think understanding this next wave of computing and the internet allows us to be more proactive than reactive and think about the future as we want it to be, rather than how to marginally affect the present.”
A more cynical spin is that “metaverse” lets companies dodge negative baggage associated with “the internet” in general and social media in particular. “As long as you can make technology seem fresh and new and cool, you can avoid regulation,” researcher Joan Donovan told The Washington Post in a recent article about Facebook and the metaverse. “You can run defense on that for several years before the government can catch up.”
There’s also one very simple reason: it sounds more futuristic than “internet” and gets investors and media people (like us!) excited.
It’s true: plenty of new “metaverse” phenomena aren’t really novel. People were becoming digital land barons and selling virtual items in Second Life nearly two decades ago. Schools and businesses have opened satellite campuses in that world and others. Social 3D spaces like CyberTown long predate Second Life. Even before that, early virtual worlds popped up in the 1970s with text-based multiuser dungeons or MUDs. Many older worlds also inspired the kinds of utopian predictions we see around the metaverse today.
One reason we might be experiencing the hype cycle again is that graphics technology and internet connectivity has significantly advanced since, say, Second Life’s 2003 launch. Many video games operate under a “live service” model where the developers constantly update a game to encourage players to return, creating a more convincing illusion of a living, breathing, ever-changing world. Non-metaverse games like League of Legends or Overwatch make significant changes to gameplay years after release, treating the experience more like a virtual space than a static game. From there, a leap to in-game concerts and fashion shows doesn’t seem that far.
At the same time, virtual and augmented reality have gotten closer to consumer application, even if VR remains niche and AR nascent. One estimate suggests Facebook has sold around 8 million Oculus Quest 2 headsets, and several dozen VR games have made over $1 million in sales. Those are tiny numbers compared to phone and console sales, but huge compared to the practically nonexistent home VR market 10 years ago. Apple is reportedly working on VR / AR headsets, and Chinese company Nreal has successfully shipped full-fledged consumer AR sunglasses at a comparatively low price.
Another possible reason is that modern pop culture is built on sprawling and highly intertextual media franchises owned by a few companies that promote their huge intellectual property catalogs as shared universes. That enthusiasm has translated into dreams of — as Verge editor Liz Lopatto describes it — “an online haven where superhero IP owned by different companies can finally kiss.” (This is the entire premise of Ready Player One.)
And if you believe the metaverse shouldn’t be owned by a handful of companies, there are new technologies that could facilitate less centralized virtual worlds, like cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens or NFTs. These metaverse visions overlap with the concept of Web3, a term covering decentralized internet services where users retain more personal control over the data they put online.
Or that.
NFTs are complicated in their own right, and you can read more about them here. Loosely, the thinking goes: NFTs are a way of recording who owns a specific virtual good, creating and transferring virtual goods is a big part of the metaverse, thus NFTs are a potentially useful financial architecture for the metaverse. Or in more practical terms: if you buy a virtual shirt in Metaverse Platform A, NFTs can create a permanent receipt and let you redeem the same shirt in Metaverse Platforms B to Z.
Lots of NFT designers are selling collectible avatars like CryptoPunks, Cool Cats, and Bored Apes, sometimes for astronomical sums. Right now these are mostly 2D art used as social media profile pictures. But we’re already seeing some crossover with “metaverse”-style services. The company Polygonal Mind, for instance, is building a system called CryptoAvatars that lets people buy 3D avatars as NFTs and then use them across multiple virtual worlds.
On the contrary, people like Raph Koster think it’s one of the metaverse’s toughest problems.
There are a few ways designers support people “moving” items between worlds right now. One is to build all the worlds within a single platform like Roblox, where players can do things like accessorize an avatar with virtual gear and use it across different experiences. But this breaks down across worlds that are more technically and aesthetically different. Even leaving aside wonky problems like file format support, something as simple as a 3D hat model might look good on a Lego-like Roblox character but make no sense on a pixelated avatar from Minecraft. An item might have a particular ability in one world (like playing music) that another world doesn’t support at all.
A second option is to manually create a different version of the same asset for every world. Fortnite and Halo both feature Master Chief avatars, for instance, but with a design tailored to each game. (This is typically how media franchises kiss with the companies’ official blessing — Warner Bros. can’t just take a Bruce Wayne model from the Batman: Arkham series and drop it in a Lego Batman game.)
This method can look seamless to users, but it can be a lot of work for developers and not worth the payoff in all cases. Epic and Microsoft might both benefit by adding a popular character to a popular game, but does Microsoft really want to model its own version of every single Fortnite skin for Minecraft, just so players can use another company’s avatars in its world?
A third option, available in the popular virtual world VRChat, is having players or third-party designers upload their own 3D models with a specific set of characteristics. But uploading a model demands more work and technical skill from users. (Arguably this is the closest analog to Stephenson’s Metaverse, where a good avatar requires either money or great computer skills.) Meanwhile, the developers cede some control over the aesthetic of their space. And if companies approach them with deals for licensed characters or items, they could find a world already populated by knockoffs.
This could change in the future. Epic could try to implement a shared item library for its popular Unreal Engine, for example. New AI visual filters could tweak a single 3D model to match different world designs the way existing ones turn selfies into anime. But any fix would require a level of coordination that we haven’t seen so far.
People are certainly talking about it that way! In an interview with The Verge, Mark Zuckerberg described the metaverse as “an embodied internet,” basically an upgraded version of the internet where people can have “different experiences that you couldn’t necessarily do on a 2D app or webpage.”
Tim Sweeney takes a similar line in The Washington Post, imagining the metaverse as “a kind of online playground where users could join friends to play a multiplayer game like Epic’s ‘Fortnite’ one moment, watch a movie via Netflix the next.” If you’re imagining a place where you can watch videos, play games with friends, and buy things, it’s going to end up looking a lot like the internet.
One of the metaverse’s key benefits is supposed to be “presence” — a sense that you’re physically engaging with places and people instead of watching them through a window. Gathering your co-workers around a virtual table in a service like Spatial and Facebook Horizon, for instance, could feel more natural to some people than looking at a grid of Zoom thumbnails.
But many pieces seem as likely to supplement the internet as replace it. A virtual dressing room makes sense if you want to see how an outfit would look on you. It doesn’t necessarily require a whole virtual store, though, just an easy way to switch between flat and spatial experiences. A good comparison point might be the mobile internet, which saw a slew of app-based services supplement or even replace traditional websites — but hasn’t made desktop-based options obsolete, either.
A text-heavy, non-real-time internet also has some noteworthy advantages. High-end computers, gaming consoles, and VR headsets that support detailed virtual environments can be expensive. People with mobility issues or slow internet connections might find moving an avatar around a real-time 3D world inconvenient. And people with low or no vision can use screen readers to access text on webpages, while navigating an environment based on images can be harder. Accessibility experts can help mitigate these issues, but there’s still a long way to go before they’re solved.
People like Tim Sweeney say they don’t want it to. Sweeney told The Washington Post that present-day social media has “trapped” companies and users in walled gardens and bombarded them with ads. Roblox designers make money that’s not ad-driven by selling digital goods in their individual worlds and letting the company take a (sometimes surprisingly large) cut. Proponents of new options like NFTs see them as a viable alternative to ad-supported systems, although NFTs have potential negative side effects of their own.
But “advertising” is a slippery word. Fortnite, Sweeney’s version of a world beyond ads, is still packed absolutely full of big pop culture franchises and brands building name recognition — in the same Post interview, he imagined auto companies dropping models of their cars into the metaverse to let people test-drive them. With varying levels of skepticism, media coverage refers to the metaverse as “an expansive, digitized communal space where users can mingle freely with brands” or “a realm of culture and digital identity for brands to further discover their fullest potential.”
This might not come as a shock to fans of Snow Crash, where brands have supplanted nations, or Ready Player One, where pop culture franchises have all but conquered reality. Fortunately, if it doesn’t sound like much fun, there’s still time to help shape the future of the metaverse — assuming it actually arrives.

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Lamina1 Presents Inaugural “Open Metaverse Conference” Connecting the Worlds of Blockchain and the Metaverse for a Next-Gen Internet – Business Wire

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Featuring a keynote from co-founder and futurist Neal Stephenson, the first-of-its-kind event aims to empower creators and coders to build the Open Metaverse together
LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Lamina1, a Layer 1 blockchain optimized for the Open Metaverse, today announced its role as founding sponsor of the Open Metaverse Conference, a first-of-its-kind industry event bringing together the worlds of the Metaverse and Web3 to build a more open and immersive Internet. The two-day conference will take place from February 8-9, 2023 in Los Angeles, California, and will gather experts and builders spanning Metaverse experiences, Web3, and entertainment.

Co-founded by Neal Stephenson, renowned futurist and science fiction author who originally coined the term “Metaverse,” and cryptocurrency pioneer Peter Vessenes, founder of the first VC-backed Bitcoin company, Lamina1 will provide the infrastructure to empower rapid expansion of the Open Metaverse. As the founding sponsor of the Open Metaverse Conference, Lamina1 will provide a forum for critical conversations around identity, privacy and interoperability, while exploring how audience engagement, creative storytelling, and the technicalities of blockchain can work hand-in-hand to make the vision of the Open Metaverse a reality.
The Open Metaverse Conference will feature keynotes from renowned technologists and storytellers who are pioneering visions for the next era of the Internet. Attendees will hear from Lamina1 co-founders Neal Stephenson and Peter Vessenes, as well as Philip Rosedale, founder of virtual world Second Life (Linden Lab) and co-founder of virtual platform High Fidelity, John Gaeta, Oscar-winning VFX pioneer (The Matrix) and CCO of character persona company Inworld AI, Cathy Hackl, Metaverse and Web3 strategist and founder of design consultancy Journey, and other industry crossover leaders to be announced. Keynote sessions will be complemented by diverse speakers and side events spanning games, art, entertainment, and commerce. To connect these key areas of culture with the technology that enables them, the Open Metaverse Conference will also facilitate technological deep dives for attendees from leaders in Web3, immersive computing, and technology standards groups. Presenting partners include the Metaverse Standards Forum, the Open Metaverse Interoperability Group, and the Open Metaverse Alliance for Web3 (OMA3), all organizations fostering interoperability.
“We are at a moment in time when developers, creatives, and producers can finally design the seamless and persistent experiences we’ve dreamed about,” said Jamil Moledina, Vice President of Games Partnerships and Media at Lamina1. “The Open Metaverse Conference will serve as the big tent for everyone who’s thinking about creating never-before-possible experiences that allow creators and consumers to enter unique virtual worlds on a level playing field.”
“OMA3 is pleased to collaborate with Lamina1 and the Open Metaverse Conference in promoting interoperability,” said Robby Yung, CEO of Animoca Brands. “OMA3 looks forward to developing talk tracks to encourage the creation of a more open and immersive internet.”
The conference will encourage interdisciplinary dialogue through debates, pitch sessions, roundtable discussions, and networking opportunities to help drive new ideas and connections.
“We felt a real sense of urgency to facilitate discussion with our colleagues and creators across the spectrum,” said Rebecca Barkin, President of Lamina1. “We know that the Open Metaverse will be built collaboratively and with a set of shared values, and we’re happy to provide this forum to address the needs of the community and to solve big problems together.”
For more information on the Open Metaverse Conference, visit www.openmetaverseconf.com.
About Open Metaverse Conference 
The Open Metaverse Conference (OMC) is an industry-first event presented by Lamina1 focused on bringing together the Metaverse and blockchain technology. The conference gathers key stakeholders spanning developers, creatives, producers, product owners, and executives to ask and address big questions around the development of a truly Open Metaverse that leverages open-source, collaborative principles and blockchain decentralization.
About Lamina1 
Lamina1 is a Layer1 blockchain optimized for the Open Metaverse. The brainchild of legendary futurist Neal Stephenson (who first conceptualized the term “Metaverse” in his 1992 best-selling novel Snow Crash) and Peter Vessenes, a foundational leader in the crypto space from the early days of Bitcoin – Lamina1 is on a mission to deliver the blockchain technology, interoperating tools, and decentralized services that will establish it as the preferred destination for creators building a more immersive Internet. It is the first provably carbon-negative blockchain in the world.
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K.C. Maas
Wachsman
kc.maas@wachsman.com

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Facebook Founder, Zuckerberg Drops Out Of 10 Richest Men After Losing Half Of Fortunes – SaharaReporters.com

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According to Forbes, the Facebook founder has lost more than half his fortune—a staggering $76.8 billion—since September 2021, dropping him from No. 3 on The Forbes 400 list of the U.S.’ wealthiest people to No. 11. Worth $57.7 billion on this year’s list.
 
Meta chief executive officer, Mark Zuckerberg has lost his spot in the list as one of the 10 richest people in America.
According to Forbes, the Facebook founder has lost more than half his fortune—a staggering $76.8 billion—since September 2021, dropping him from No. 3 on The Forbes 400 list of the U.S.’ wealthiest people to No. 11. Worth $57.7 billion on this year’s list.
Zuck trails Walmart heir Jim Walton, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and other tech moguls such as ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page. No one in America has lost as much money over the past year as Zuckerberg.
He has the cratering stock price of Meta (formerly Facebook) to thank for his exit from the top 10. Shares have plunged 57% since last year’s Forbes 400, which used stock prices from September 3, 2021. Tech stocks are generally in a slump with the market downturn, but Meta’s fall outpaces both the Nasdaq (-9.8%) and the S&P 500 (-13.5%), as well as Microsoft’s 14% decline, Google-parent Alphabet‘s 25% drop and Amazon’s 27% dive.
Investors are spooked by a privacy policy update from Apple last year that made it harder for tech companies to track users across apps, impacting Meta’s ad sales. Meta reported its first-ever quarterly revenue decline in July–a 1% drop, to $28.8 billion.
“Facebook makes most of its money from advertising, and now it just doesn’t have that data anymore,” says Mark Zgutowicz, an analyst at research and investment banking firm Benchmark.
“All those data signals went away, which basically means that advertisers are having trouble telling whether a campaign was successful or not.”
Compounding the problem for Meta, TikTok is luring away advertisers, along with lucrative Gen Z and millennial users. In February, Meta announced its first-ever quarterly loss of daily active users. A recent internal report showed that Meta’s TikTok clone, Instagram Reels, is struggling to compete, according to Wall Street Journal report.
Under normal circumstances, a slight dip in revenue might be manageable, but Meta is also investing heavily in virtual reality and the metaverse, which is dragging down operating profit. In 2021, the company’s metaverse division, Meta Reality Labs, lost $10 billion. While the metaverse is all Zuckerberg wants to talk about, investors are less enthusiastic so far. “It’s a long tail investment and, for now, it’s kind of a cash suck,” Zgutowicz says.
Zuckerberg first became a billionaire in 2008, just four years after founding Facebook. At 23, he was the youngest self-made billionaire at the time, debuting at No. 321 on The Forbes 400, worth $1.5 billion. By 2011, Zuckerberg’s net worth had increased nearly 12 fold to $17.5 billion.
This year isn’t the first time Zuckerberg’s net worth has taken a dive. After Facebook’s famously disappointing IPO in 2012, Zuckerberg fell from No. 14 to No. 36 on The Forbes 400. But it didn’t last long. The following year, Zuckerberg bounced back and, up until now, his fortune has continued to climb. Despite the litany of controversies and scandals plaguing the company, Facebook’s ad machine had reliably churned out enough money to impress investors, sending Zuckerberg’s net worth soaring to $134.5 billion last year, his highest net worth ever.
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Disney CEO Bob Chapek plotting a metaverse for Disney+ that will recreate their parks online – Daily Mail

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By Alex Oliveira For Dailymail.Com
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Disney is plotting a metaverse that would let people experience the most magical place on earth without ever setting foot in the theme park.
CEO Bob Chapek said the media giant’s metaverse would exist on its streaming platform, Disney+, and allow ‘the 90 percent of people that will never ever be able to get to a Disney park,’ to experience it in virtual reality.
‘We call it next-gen storytelling’ Chapek said in an interview with Deadline, noting that he didn’t like use the phrase metaverse ‘because it has a lot of hair on it.’
But regardless of whatever Chapek prefers to call the planned platform, many have responded by calling the move out of touch with Disney’s fanbase, and argued that if the parks stopped hiking prices more people would be able to visit.  
The move comes as Chapek – who took the helm at Disney in 2020 – struggles to make a name for himself in the shadow of his innovative predecessor, Bob Iger, and keep afloat amid controversies ranging from the park’s rising prices, to Disney’s stance on Florida’s Don’t Say Gay bill. 
Just last week, Chapek broke a months-long silence on an apology he issued in an attempt to quell Disney staff who were outraged by his failure to speak out against the controversial bill last spring, saying he chose to remain mum on the matter because he didn’t want to get Disney caught in a ‘political subterfuge.’ 
Disney CEO Bob Chapek said the media giant’s metaverse would exist on its streaming platform, Disney+, and allow people to experience park rides in virtual reality
Disney’s metaverse move comes as Chapek – who took the helm at Disney in 2020 – struggles to make a name for himself in the shadow of his innovative predecessor, Bob Iger
Chapek characterized the Disney metaverse as a way to experience the theme parks for the multitudes of people who are unable to actually make the trip in person.
‘We wish every person would have the opportunity to come to our parks, but we realize that’s not a reality for some people,’ he told Deadline, ‘we have before us an opportunity to turn what was a movie-service platform to an experiential platform and give them the ability to ride Haunted Mansion from a virtual standpoint.’
He said metaverse users would have an experience beyond what regular parkgoers have, and be able to step out of the ride-cars to explore sets and interact with characters. 
‘Maybe we’ll give them the opportunity what every single person in the park wants to do, and unfortunately too many of them do it, just to get off the attraction. See how it works, see how those ghost dancers move,’ he said. 

But many responded to the news by saying if Disney would just stop raising its prices, more of those 90 percent of people who cannot visit the parks would be able to.
‘Damn Disney. Just say it direct like that,’ wrote tech critic Juan Carlos Bagnell on Twitter, ‘90% of the HUMAN POPULATION is too poor to visit our parks, but hopefully some are less-poor-enough to own VR goggles and ride our rides in a metaverse clone…’
Commenters on the Deadline interview were equally unimpressed, with one saying ‘The reason 90% of people may not be able to experience the parks is because you keep hiking the cost of GOING to the parks beyond what most people can actually afford, Bob.’
‘Costs are up at the parks. Moral appears to be down. Iger had imagination and could adapt,’ said another.

Disney park prices have skyrocketed since Chapek was fully given charge at Disney in 2022. At California parks, ticket prices jumped 6 percent to $164 for single-park passes, while the price of getting into more than one park over the course of a day rose 9 percent to $319.
At the Florida parks the price to get into the park after 2pm rose to $169, while before 2pm fans were asked to fork over $194. Those prices could also rise based on an increased demand on any day.
‘If you’re the kind of person that budgets or saves for vacations, Disney Parks aren’t for you any longer,’ wrote a fed-up customer on Reddit, ‘That’s a Premium Physical Experience, and there’s plenty of national and international wealthy families to afford going indefinitely.’
And in August, as inflation scorched the US economy, Chapek warned those prices could continue to rise.
‘It’s all up to the consumer,’ he said, according to The New York Post, ‘If consumer demand keeps up, we’ll act accordingly.’
Disney’s metaverse would allow people to experience park rides like the Haunted Mansion without ever setting foot in Disney World
Chapek noted the virtual reality experience could go beyond simply sitting in the car and experiencing the ride the way park-goers do, but would allow people to step off of the tracks and explore the ride sets up close
Chapek has hardly been the happiest CEO on Earth since he took the reins at Disney.
After beginning his tenure in February, 2020, he was thrust immediately into the chaos of navigating Disney through the perils of the pandemic, which saw the media company’s primary revenue streams – theme park revenue and movie theater tickets – vanish like a pair of glass slippers at midnight.
To help steady the ship, Iger – much to Chapek’s ire, reportedly – was kept on in a leadership position through 2021.
But as soon as Chapek was given full control in 2022 his price hikes had customers raising eyebrows about whether he was up to the same scratch as the visionary Iger.
Those doubts were doubled-down on by Disney staff after Chapek decided to remain quiet on Florida’s Don’t Say Gay bill, a law which barred schools from discussing sexuality or gender with children between kindergarten and third grade.
Many Disney employees viewed the law as homophobic and an affront to the inclusive values of Disney, and publicly voiced their outrage that Chapek did not speak out against it.
Chapek said the metaverse would also work in conjunction with real-world visits to Disney theme parks
Disney is plotting a metaverse that would let people experience the most magical place on earth without ever setting foot in the theme park
He later apologized to staff, publicly decried the bill, and announced Disney had paused all its political donations within Florida.
Last week, Chapek addressed that apology for the first time since he issued it, saying he had struggled to balance the needs and beliefs of every one of his employees and customers.
‘What we try to do is be everything to everybody,’ Chapek told The Hollywood Reporter in a recent interview, ‘That tends to be very difficult because we’re The Walt Disney Company.’
‘We certainly don’t want to get caught up in any political subterfuge, but at the same time we also realize that we want to represent a brighter tomorrow for families of all types, regardless of how they define themselves,’ he said.

Published by Associated Newspapers Ltd
Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group

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