Microsoft and Epic join The Metaverse Forum, the first metaverse standards body

The Forum doesn't create standards, but it does encourage common practices and shares research and resources to advance metaverse technology.

Microsoft and Epic Games have joined a number of other technology and retail juggernauts to form The Metaverse Standards Forum. The Forum is a new, loosely organized body devoted to “coordinating requirements and resources” to encourage the continued development of metaverse technology. 

“Building a pervasive, open and inclusive metaverse at a global scale will require cooperation and coordination between a constellation of international standards organizations,” the Forum’s website says. “Open to any organization at no cost, the Metaverse Standards Forum provides a venue for cooperation between standards organizations and companies to foster the development of interoperability standards for an open and inclusive metaverse.”

Adobe, Meta (formerly Facebook), Unity, and NVIDIA are among the Forum’s other founding members, along with companies not traditionally associated with technology, such as IKEA and Wayfair. Conspicuously absent, as Reutersfirst noted, are Apple and Roblox, both of which have or hope to have a strong stake in the metaverse. 

Roblox’s decision not to join is a rather puzzling one. It and Epic have been steadily building their own versions of a metaverse for several years, both built around the concept of users interacting with each other and different media forms on their respective platforms. 

While Roblox is something of a metaverse in itself, the platform also hosted reveals and concerts for musicians including Lil’ Nas X. Epic followed a similar pattern, but also expanded into film festivals and other showcases where players, represented by their customizable in-game avatars, interacted with the media together or separately.

It’s not the only form of metaverse that gaming companies have experimented with. Genvid Technologies is creating several different platforms that bring people together and shape media and entertainment. One is Rival Peaks, a Facebook show similar to Netflix’s Bandersnatch, where viewers shape the story through their decisions, and a Pac-Man platform that connects viewers with content creators to build organic communities around the pastimes people enjoy.

Thus far, no existing metaverse follows any established regulatory guidelines. While The Forum is an unofficial body, it is, at least, a step in the right direction towards ensuring privacy and other protections for those who work, live, and play in a metaverse.

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News Writer

Josh is a freelance reporter and critic who’s appeared on PC Gamer, Upload VR, and SPIN online, among others. Outside of games writing and work in digital marketing, he also has an academic background in history and public relations. You can usually find him outside playing with his Belgian Malinois when he’s not working or spending too much time in Final Fantasy XIV.