The metaverse is already here — it’s called Fortnite

Owen Williams
4 min readOct 23, 2021

Technology giants are fighting over who will build and control the metaverse —the supposed future virtual world we’ll all hang out in together and spend all of our time in—with Facebook even reportedly planning to go as far as rename the company to stake its own claim.

But here’s the thing: the metaverse is already here…and it’s called Fortnite. Unlike any other game I’ve played, Fortnite keeps myself and many of my friends coming back and hanging out as it continually grows and evolves.

Built by Epic Games, Fortnite is a survival game where 100 players drop onto an island and fight to be the last player standing as a storm closes in around them, forcing everyone closer together.

Fortnite was first released in 2017, but it’s been a sensation that’s grown to more than 350 million registered players, and has seen upwards of 15 million of those players log in at the same time.

Just hanging out with friends on Fortnite

Over the last 18 months as we drifted in and out of lockdowns, Fortnite was the one game that made me feel connected to friends and family. After a long day of being on video calls, it was a great escape where we could meet up, hang out, and chat — while picking off other players along the way.

We’d meet up every Tuesday, jump on voice, and hang out for hours. We’re not hardcore gamers, but it’s an excuse to catch up, mess around, and have a good time. The Fortnite virtual world played host to concerts and events, such as an incredible other-worldly interactive Ariana Grande concert, and crossover events with the Marvel Universe or the latest movies.

Then there are the massive in-game experiences like a rocket launch that blew up the virtual sky, the black hole that sucked the entire game into a void, launching a new map, and the aliens that invaded the game, abducting players that got too close. Everyone logs…

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Owen Williams

Fascinated by how code and design is shaping the world. I write about the why behind tech news. Design Manager in Tech. https://twitter.com/ow