Razer “Prepares for the Metaverse” and Predicts “Balance Between Physical and Virtual Worlds,” CEO Says
Razer is “gearing up for the metaverse,” chief executive Min-Liang Tan says The independent, believing that there will be “a real balance between the physical world and the virtual world”.
The Singaporean tech giant, which sells consumer electronics, gaming hardware and some services like digital currency Razer Gold, has historically focused on hardware.
On his last conference call, Razer CFO Chong Neng Tan said that hardware contributes 90% of the company’s total revenue, “but in the future, we mentioned that we see in fact huge opportunities in the services segment, and this is where we “are going to reinvest to really develop our Services segment”.
This shift from physical to digital is one that, according to Tan, will become a big “dichotomy” in the future, between “the user who believes in the digital world and the metaverse … being as real as the physical world” and those who say that there is no substitute for the real world.
Advocates of the metaverse will argue that the digital world is just as ‘real in quotes’ as the real world, he continues, a view that will be encouraged by an older generation of ‘digital natives’ – young people who have grown older. comfortable with technology than their ancestors, exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent increase in digital services.
“Maybe there will be a generation that will say that the virtual world is actually more important than the physical world. The mind is mind-boggling, I think, at the extrapolation of this thought process, but I think that it will happen. ”Tan says he personally gravitates towards the happy medium.
Tan says he spends more time in the virtual world than anyone else, and Razer has tools and interfaces to access the virtual world – mice, keyboards, laptops – and payment mechanisms to ease the transition. .
“As a metaverse-type company, we are preparing for the metaverse to a certain extent. We have all aspects of the hardware, the software platform, the services, and that’s where we’re really heading for a real balance between the physical world and the virtual world, ”says Tan.
It is this context that makes Razer’s push towards services understandable, a move similar to Apple’s own transition. The games company has 150 million users on its software platform and Razer Gold can be used to purchase games, subscriptions and more on many platforms including Steam, Tinder, Blizzard games, gaming Tencent, etc. Razer also has a fintech industry, such as a credit card processor. When asked if, in a “gun to the head” situation, Tan would take Razer down a dedicated hardware lane or a software and services lane, the CEO chose the latter option.
“We could keep pushing the software and services side of things because basically that’s what we’ve been doing since day one… even while we were building our hardware,” but added that it’s not about focus on one area but grow, and that “the services came a bit later”.
Unlikely Apple, however, Tan prefers more interoperability to the smartphone giant’s famous walled garden. “I think from a gaming perspective from a gamer perspective, we’ve always liked open ecosystems and, you know, we continue to make a lot of our software open to as many people as possible. people possible, whether it is a computer hardware company. or a software company, ”he said.
It is an attitude closer to that of Mark Zuckerberg, who also tries to make Facebook a “metaverse” so that its “software is everywhere”. With recent virtual work demonstrations, upcoming AR glasses, and the Oculus VR headset, the social media company appears ahead of the rest of the “Big Five” – Apple, Google, Amazon and Microsoft.
Tan, however, says it’s all yet to be played. “I think there is enough space for one of these big five to create their own [metaverse]”He says, and while there is an advantage for early entrants, it is” big enough “that” even a new start-up [could] come ‘and disrupt him.
“It will literally be a universe parallel to the physical universe, and we haven’t even exploited what is possible in the physical universe.
Many tech companies describe the metaverse as a benevolent way to overcome socio-economic barriers in the physical world. “Research… shows that the postcode you were born and raised in is strongly correlated with your future mobility and income,” Zuckerberg said. “I think it goes against the feeling we have in this country that people should have equal opportunities.”
Critics, however, point out that the origins of the Metaverse are those of Neal Stephenson in 1992. Snow accident, who describes it as “a poor, desperate nation that is literally ruled by corporate franchises,” writes Brian Merchant of Vice.
“In the world of Snow accident, the metaverse is not considered particularly cool – it is necessary, because the real world has become so unbearable.
Merchant also points out that the development of a new reality could also be a way to guard against criticism for the failures of tech giants in the current one, especially since the wealth of Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page and Elon Musk have risen massively in a pandemic that has forced more people to go online. It is likely to increase further with the development of metaverse.
The debate between the value of the real world and that of the digital, Tan believes, is unlikely to be resolved. “In the future, guys who think the physical world is more important will tell everyone… in the virtual world [has] something is wrong with them, and vice versa.
But as to which side of the aisle Tan, Singapore’s youngest ‘self-made’ billionaire falls, the CEO answers that question with a vague answer that skeptics of the wealth of tech executives might find ironic .
“Everything in moderation,” he says. “Who can say what is right or wrong?” “