This week in the metaverse: Zuckerberg skeptical of skeptics, $1 billion in NFT creator royalties, and real-life metaverse clothing from Forever 21
Welcome to This Week in the Metaverse, where Fortune rounds up the most interesting news in NFTs, culture, and virtual worlds. Email email@example.com with tips.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg is not giving up on the metaverse, much to the chagrin of his critics. Since the Facebook founder rebranded his company to reflect its metaverse ambitions last year, countless doubters have pushed him to abandon the idea of building the metaverse.
At the DealBook Summit in New York on Wednesday, Zuckerberg said he’s brushing off the haters.
“Skepticism doesn’t bother me too much,” Zuckerberg said during a virtual interview at the conference, according to CoinDesk. “We’ve had doubters the whole time.”
The company has already poured billions into building out its virtual reality division, Reality Labs, but with the economy possibly heading for a recession, Zuckerberg said the company will need to operate with “more efficiency and discipline.”
OpenSea also announced this week that creators on its platform earned $1 billion in 2022. That sum, based solely on creator fees from reselling their work, didn’t include any outside deals the artists may have struck.
The news lends credence to what artists have been saying all along: Enforcing strong creator fees, which give artists a percentage of secondary sales, is the best way to support NFT makers.
The controversy over creator fees escalated this year when several marketplaces, including LooksRare and Magic Eden, made them optional. OpenSea itself was considering doing the same but later recommitted to creator fees.
While there is good metaverse and NFT news to be found despite the market downturn, there are still missteps. Add to that list a failed $400,000 metaverse launch event by the EU commission’s foreign aid department. Apparently only six people showed up to the event meant to promote the EU commission’s Global Gateway Initiative, which by 2027 plans to build $300 billion of infrastructure in developing countries.
In other news:
Forever 21 made its metaverse outfits available in the physical world this week. A year after launching its Roblox Shop City, the company making some of the same outfits available in stores as part of its F21 Metaverse Collection. This collection will feature the Forever Beanie, the top-selling item in the brand’s Roblox collection. Items in the metaverse fashion line start at $14.99.
Porsche unveiled a new line of NFTs featuring a white Porsche 911 Carrera at the international art fair Art Basel this week. Buyers can influence the design of their NFTs by choosing from the performance, heritage, and lifestyle themes of the Porsche brand to integrate into the artwork.
Game7, a Web3 gaming DAO supported by the BitDAO and Forte ecosystems, launched a $100 million grants program to accelerate Web3 gaming this week. The program will enable developers to build tools, create education programs, host events, and perform research to make the Web3 video game industry more diverse and accessible. The grants will be distributed to projects across five categories: technology, events, diversity, education, and research. The program is cross-chain and has support from the Polygon, Solana, Immutable, and Arbitrum ecosystems, with plans to expand.
OpenSea is integrating BNB Chain on its platform to enhance the NFT trading experience and bring in new users. OpenSea integrated BNB Chain into its Seaport protocol this week, which means BNB Chain NFTs will now be available on OpenSea. The NFT marketplace said in a statement that integrating BNB Chain will allow creators to avoid high gas fees, make signature confirmation actions easier to see, and eliminate the need for new users to pay any setup fees.
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