Janna Anderson featured in article on layoffs in the metaverse industry

As the North Carolina-based video game company laid off more than 800 workers in order to grow its metaverse offerings, Anderson, a professor of journalism and director of the Imagining the Internet Center, shared her insights on the matter with the News & Observer.

Janna Anderson, professor of journalism and director of Elon’s Imagining the Internet Center

Janna Anderson, professor of journalism and director of the Imagining the Internet Center, was featured in a recent article from the Raleigh News & Observer on the future of the metaverse and the recent layoffs at Cary-based Epic Games.

Epic Games, a video games and software developer and publisher, laid off approximately 16% of its workforce in late September citing the cost of building out a metaverse within the company’s most popular game, Fortnite, as the reason for the cuts.

Anderson told The News & Observer that cuts are a common reaction by companies that have overpromised on the metaverse in recent years.

“It is expensive, time-consuming and often quite impossible to accelerate technological development as quickly as the public and investors would like to see it happen,” Anderson told reporter Brian Gordon. “The companies that had dumped billions into metaverse development and their shareholders realized that by 2023, and they took a step back.”

The full News & Observer article can be read online.

Anderson is a top researcher and consultant on the future of digital life. As of early 2023, her h-index is 47. Other recent publications beyond “As AI Spreads, Experts Predict the Best and Worst Changes in Digital Life by 2035” include “The Metaverse in 2040″ and “The Future of Human Agency.” Along with her work as a professor and director of the Imagining the Internet Center, she serves as a senior contract researcher for Pew Research, co-leading Pew and Elon’s 19-year series of reports outlining thousands of experts’ predictions for the most likely future of digital life in coming decades.

She is the lead author of the “Future of the Internet” book series published by Cambria Press and author of the book “Imagining the Internet: Personalities, Predictions, Perspectives.” She has appeared as a speaker and expert on the future of information technologies at numerous international conferences, including World Future conferences, South By Southwest Interactive, Webcom, NextGov, MobilityShifts, Institute for the Future symposiums, the UN-facilitated Internet Governance Forum and the Metaverse Roadmap Project.