Game over for Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard deal? 🎮🚫
Also this week...Zuckerberg backs AI and Metaverse direction as Meta's reality labs unit records heavy losses, while analysts predict heavily industrial Chinese Metaverse.
Good morning Metaverse Business Brief readers. Let’s jump into the most relevant news from the immersive world in our weekly roundup.
Game over for Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard Acquisition? The tech giant has been planning to purchase Activision Blizzard since 2022, as it looks to take a first step into metaverse building. However, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) have blocked the move as it believes it could harm competition in the cloud gaming marketplace. Microsoft insists it will address these concerns but has also committed to launching an appeal.
Mark Zuckerberg denies anti-metaverse narrative. In a conference call to report Meta’s quarterly earnings, Zuckerberg criticised headlines that suggested Meta would abandon the Metaverse in favour of the emerging A.I trend. The CEO looked to clear the air as he confirmed that Meta would focus on both the Metaverse and A.I. as it has done “for years now”.
Meta’s Reality Labs records $3.99 billion quarterly loss. In the same conference call, Meta confirmed Reality Labs highest Q1 loss yet, with the apparent dedication to investment coming amidst waves of cost cutting throughout the organisation as a result of Zuckerberg’s “Year of Efficiency” promise.
China commits to Industrial Metaverse. In a report by Wired, it is alleged that the Chinese government is favouring industrial applications of immersive technology. This includes education, healthcare, and industry. The focus has led metaverse related organisations to pivot in the hope of government investment, with retail and entertainment focused applications expected to be less favoured.
Katmai close $22 million stealth series A funding round. The New York based Metaverse firm closed the round with $22 million, led by Starr Insurance Companies. The company wish to recreate office spaces using virtual 3D experiences, while continuing to advance the concept of hybrid working.
Transmira take $4 million investment from nChain. The Web3 and blockchain industry leader also took a 20% equity stake in Transmira, which follows an announcement of a strategic partnership in February. Transmira’s platform offers digital twins that blend AR and VR, for use in virtual experiences for brands.
Innovate UK announce £100 million AI and ML fund. The UK’s innovation agency has announced the fund under the banner of BridgeAI, a programme which aims to drive the adoption of artifical intelligence and machine learning technology within the UK economy. The fund will specialise organisations in agriculture, construction, transportation, and the creative industries.
Keep an eye on
Canon’s Kokomo Social VR platform beta launches. The Japanese optics and imaging manufacturer, best known for its cameras, has taken a step into the metaverse with the launch of the consumer focused virtual world open beta. The decision is a bold one, as Canon have until now been focused on XR hardware for the enterprise market.
Tuvalu digital twin debate emerges. Following news from one of our earliest briefs, Tuvalu’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Communications and Justice Simon Kofe has re-emerged to say his countries decision to push all diplomatic activities to the metaverse wasn’t a publicity stunt, and that plans are continuing amidst concerns that the shift sends the wrong message for a community still fighting climate change.
NHL experience ‘NHL Blast’ comes to Roblox. Following in the footsteps of fellow large sports organisations like the NBA, the National Hockey League has unveiled a new metaverse experience that will allow fans to play virtual games, and connect using avatars adorned in NHL club branded digital merchandise on the immersive platform Roblox.
Sky News unveils AR tool for king’s coronation. In partnership with Atlantic Productions, and with thanks to the Royal Household, Sky news have produced an AR immersive experience that will beam digital twins of the King and Queen Consort’s crowns into the environments of app users. The feature will be available on the sky news app and has been designed to celebrate the UK’s first 21st Century Coronation.
Events to be at
May 04 5PM BST Online | The 7th International VR Awards Nomination Webinar
May 09 Online | Insights Live: Human Progress and the Programmable World
May 17 - 18 London | Edtech World Forum 2023
June 13 Online | Insights Live: Metaverse vs Web3: A Convergence?
July 11 Online | Insights Live: The Importance of Inclusivity and Diversity within the Metaverse
October 24-26 Houston | The 10th Augmented Enterprise Summit
November 30 Rotterdam | The 7th International VR Awards
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news and comments to email@example.com.
May 1 2023 Edition - Issue 17
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