Xbox Boss Phil Spencer Skeptical About Metaverse, Criticizes Play-to-Earn Models


Phil Spencer, head of the Xbox brand, believes that the metaverse has been with us since 30 years ago, when digital gaming was largely introduced. However, Spencer criticized play-to-earn (P2E) models, stating that they create a workforce out of a kind of gamer who needs to monetize the time spent playing.

Xbox Boss Phil Spencer Believes the Metaverse Has Been Here for Some Time

The metaverse and its current conceptions have been the subject of debate and criticism. The current head of the Xbox brand and CEO of gaming at Microsoft, Phil Spencer, offered his skeptical take on how the metaverse, an alternate world, is currently being presented. In an interview with Bloomberg, Spencer stated that the metaverse is nothing new and that it is related to what gamers have already been doing for some time. He explained:

My view on metaverse is that gamers have been in the metaverse for 30 years. When you’re playing games, these 3D shared worlds that people have been playing in for years and years, I think what we’ve found is that there’s more connection because we have a shared purpose.

Furthermore, Spencer clarified that gamers might be confused with the concept of the metaverse because having an avatar in a game and being part of a virtual world where voice communication is available can be considered inhabiting it.

While Spencer personally might be skeptical about the metaverse, Microsoft and the Xbox brand have used the term regularly at different times. In January, when announcing the purchase of Activision Blizzard for almost $69 billion, Microsoft stated it would “accelerate the growth in Microsoft’s gaming business across mobile, PC, console and cloud and will provide building blocks for the metaverse.”

Play-to-Earn Criticism

While other companies in the space have been more open to play-to-earn (P2E) models and the mechanics behind them, Spencer has shown himself to be hesitant about this new trend. In the interview, the Xbox boss criticized the objective of play-to-earn games, declaring:

Play-to-earn specifically is something I’m cautious about. It creates a workforce out of players, for certain players to kind of monetize. I think sometimes it’s a hammer looking for a nail when these technologies come up.

However, Spencer believes that there might be “interesting things” in the future use of such technologies. The technology, which has reached some degree of popularity with blockchain games like Axie Infinity, has yet to reach consoles like the Xbox or the Sony Playstation 5.

What do you think about the opinions of Xbox head Phil Spencer regarding the metaverse and play-to-earn models? Tell us in the comments section below.


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