Apple Is Stepping Into the Metaverse. Will Anyone Care?

With their tens of millions of participants, user-generated content and digital economies, Roblox and Epic Games, which produces the battle royale game Fortnite, could provide a more compelling vision of a metaverse.

Roblox, a platform with millions of games often aimed at children, had 66.1 million daily users in the first quarter of 2023, a 22 percent jump from a year earlier. Craig Donato, the company’s chief business officer, said that Roblox was working on expanding into other immersive online experiences, but that a full-fledged metaverse was still far away.

“We’re very much in the first or second inning,” Mr. Donato said.

In March, Epic Games released new tools designed to help Fortnite players create and make money from their own games on the company’s platform, spurring the creation of an online economy in Fortnite — a cornerstone of the vision of the metaverse preached by Tim Sweeney, the company’s chief executive. Mr. Sweeney said mainstream interest for the metaverse attracted people who weren’t really invested in the space.

“Unfortunately, a lot of people tried to attach themselves to that trend without really delivering the goods,” he said. “But if you look at the trend, it’s continuing to grow, and it continues to look like exponential growth.”

Brian X. Chen and Karen Weise contributed reporting.

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