Electronics company HTC revealed its Metaverse product called Viverse, but users did not appreciate the experience.
HTC caught in metaverse shitstorm
Many companies are giving in to metaverse FOMO at the moment. HTC now seems to have joined this circle.
The company launched its metaverse product called Viverse through its HTC Vive brand, itself a subsection of HTC. Viverse allows users to purchase NFTs and other metaverse products like virtual wine tasting. However, users were less than impressed.
The launch sparked an avalanche of criticism targeted at both the vision and the implementation of HTC’s metaverse plans. Users were so outraged that some even threatened to boycott future HTC products. here is a best-of containing criticism of Viverse:
- One user wrote: “You can keep the crypto garbage, I’ll stick with my valve hardware.”
- Another was a bit nicer, noting that HTC should “stick to making hardware.”
- Yet another user wrote: “VIVE had a great life, bringing the world of VR to many eyes. VIVE unfortunately contracted NFT, and did not make it.”
HTC has not yet reacted to the outpour of negativity.
Is the metaverse all that it’s drummed up to be?
The metaverse has been the crypto buzzword of the last few months. But many of the projects launching their own version of the metaverse leave much to be desired.
A closer look at the whitepapers often exposes the fundamental flaws these projects suffer from like poor graphics, a lack of a coherent vision, get-rich-quick marketing, predatory tokenomics, and overall unprofessionalism. Many metaverses are nothing more than poorly designed and programmed PC virtual worlds that are quickly shipped to the blockchain to make a quick back from unsuspecting investors. Much smoke and mirrors, very little substance.
Brands are guilty of this, too. Even though many big brands like Adidas, Nike, Prada, HTC, and many, many others have launched their own metaverses, real substance is almost nowhere to be seen. Quite the contrary, it seems as if these big brands understand that no one really understands the metaverse yet and how it will function, which makes it easy to get away with poor products that are nothing more than quick cash grabs.
Not all is lost, though. NFTs do have their use cases like in art or for token-gating communities. But progress is not going to be fast.
If the metaverse is to become a utopian version of what we saw in movies like Ready, Player, One – and not the company-controlled dystopian metaverse the movie juxtaposed – then it will have to be built like the best blockchain protocols: in a decentralised and grassroots manner.
This means handing over governance to DAOs, tokenomics that benefit the community and not the core team supposedly building the product, and sourcing ideas from the users. Technology will improve, which will help. Eventually, the metaverse will probably get there, but if blockchain protocols aren’t careful, it could easily be hacked for commercial goals by multinationals.
HTC executives, and not only they, should pay attention.