Ever since Facebook rebranded to go all-in on the “metaverse,” everyone seems to be talking about these weird, nebulous social constructs. Microsoft seems to think that you need to make everything into VR before you can have a metaverse, while Facebook thinks it has less to do with VR and more to do with shared social spaces that let you do anything you want.

Of course, Epic’s Tim Sweeney has his own opinion on the matter. He shares Facebook’s opinion that the metaverse should be a wide-open space where users can do whatever they want online, but he thinks that Apple and Google are the ones standing in the way of that happening.

"I think it will take a decade or more to really get to the endpoint, but I think that is happening. And it will be a better online experience than we're having today,” Sweeney explained in an interview with CNN Business. He added that you won’t need virtual reality headsets or "fancy new hardware” to experience the metaverse and that we basically have all the technology we need right now in the palm of our hands.

The real problem with the metaverse, according to Sweeney, is Apple and Google’s “monopoly” on mobile platforms. Rules forcing you to use a single browser, inability to run code freely without first being checked by Apple or Google, and a lack of options to pay developers directly for their work is what's really holding the metaverse back.


"We need to win the fight against platform monopolies, because Apple and Google currently have rules in place to prevent the metaverse from existing on the Google Play Store and on iOS," Sweeney added.

Anyone following Epic's legal battles against Apple and Google will find that last paragraph to be a familiar battle cry of Sweeney's. The same interview also saw Sweeney admit that the legal fight that saw Fortnite kicked off iOS has cost Epic "hundreds of millions of dollars," but he has no regrets about kicking off a legal firestorm that could rage for "many years."