HTC Faces Twitter Backlash Over New Metaverse Product

Taiwanese consumer electronics company, HTC, has received criticism over its metaverse plans.
Image source: Bram van Oost on Unsplash

Quick take:

  • HTC revealed a metaverse product called Viverse.
  • Viverse would allow users to purchase NFTs and metaverse-related products.
  • HTC joins other Web2 firms that have faced user backlash over their move into Web3.

HTC VIVE, the virtual reality brand of Taiwanese consumer electronics company HTC Corporation, is facing negative reactions from users after revealing its metaverse product called Viverse on Thursday.

If implemented, Viverse would allow users to purchase NFTs and metaverse-related products with Bitcoin and Ethereum. HTC VIVE showcased the features of Viverse in a promotional video posted on Twitter, which includes the ability to pay for a virtual wine tasting with Bitcoin.

The post drew criticism from Twitter users. One Twitter user replied to the post saying: “Vive, no. Stick to making hardware. Metaverse and NFTs are horrible, get away from it.”

Game animator Ross O’Donovan tweeted: “Dude I died laughing at the wine tasting. Holy shit that’s hilariously cringe.” Another user wrote an obituary for HTC, which said: “VIVE had a great life, bringing the world of VR to many eyes. VIVE unfortunately contracted NFT, and did not make it. We will always remember the good days.”

Others have called on HTC VIVE to update its existing VR products instead of going into the metaverse

HTC joins other Web2 firms that have recently faced backlash for their NFT and metaverse plans. Companies such as Discord, Ubisoft, Kickstarter, and Mozilla faced criticism for the negative environmental impact that blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum could have.

Though the topic of AR/VR saw a surge in interest ever since Facebook’s rebrand to Meta, HTC has been in the virtual reality space for more than five years. The company’s plans for the metaverse with Viverse may be its attempt to play catch up with other tech giants. 

Meta, Google, Apple, and Microsoft are in a battle to build augmented reality and virtual reality headsets. Meta is creating its own metaverse while Microsoft has bet big on the metaverse with a $69 million acquisition of video game developer, Activision Blizzard.

However, HTC is no stranger to blockchain technology. The company launched the HTC Exodus 1, a blockchain-focused smartphone with native support for crypto wallets and Ethereum dApps, in 2019.

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