Connect with us


10 best IHG all-inclusive resorts to book




We admit IHG Hotels & Resorts hasn’t traditionally been an all-inclusive-heavy hospitality group. That’s soon to change, though, thanks to IHG’s new partnership with Spanish hospitality company Iberostar. The move will incorporate the all-inclusive Iberostar Beachfront Resorts into the IHG One Rewards program. The partnership will include up to 70 resorts across the Americas and the Mediterranean, including Northern Africa.

Until the IHG-Iberostar alliance comes online, travelers can choose from several true all-inclusive resorts within the IHG family and more properties that include full-board or half-board rates. Family-friendly hotels in Jamaica, ultra-luxe wellness retreats in India and Maldivian resorts with overwater bungalows — these are some of our favorites.

Holiday Inn Resort Montego Bay All-Inclusive

Montego Bay, Jamaica


Best for: Families sticking to a budget on a Caribbean vacation.

Why stay here: A vacation at this all-inclusive resort won’t break the bank, but it still comes with a private beach in a prime Montego Bay location.

Best way to book: Book directly with IHG to earn or redeem IHG One Rewards points and enjoy any elite benefits.

One of IHG’s true all-inclusive resorts, the Holiday Inn Resort Montego Bay has a prime location on Jamaica’s northern shore. It’s less than 10 minutes from Sangster International Airport (MBJ) and just 15 minutes from Montego Bay’s commercial center. Since this is an all-inclusive resort, though, there’s no real need to leave the property.

The hotel has a private sandy beach plus a small island with lounge chairs for sunbathing across a shallow lagoon. Access to nonmotorized water sports is included.

For activities and entertainment, there are two pools, a spa, kids and teens clubs, and sports courts. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are also included in the rate. Meals are served at the buffet or four a la carte restaurants that span Jamaican to Italian cuisine. There is also a smattering of bars, including a pool bar at the adults-only section of the resort. (The pool bar is a welcome spot for couples, as the 500-plus rooms here are often filled with families.)

Rates at the Holiday Inn Resort Montego Bay All-Inclusive start at $197 or 50,000 IHG One Rewards points per night.

Holiday Inn Resort Ixtapa All-Inclusive

Zihuatenejo, Guerrero, Mexico



Best for: West Coast families or couples seeking a long-weekend getaway.

Why stay here: This beachfront resort is located within a five-minute walk of downtown Ixtapa.

Best way to book: Book directly with IHG to earn or redeem IHG One Rewards points and enjoy any elite benefits.

Ixtapa may not be the first place that comes to mind when considering resort destinations on Mexico’s west coast, but that means you’ll find solid deals here. This is true of the Holiday Inn Resort Ixtapa, an all-inclusive beach resort with an ideal location across the street from Ixtapa’s main shopping and entertainment area. There are 431 rooms, including suites with two bathrooms that are ideal for families. Adjoining rooms are also available.

The property features two pools, four restaurants, a sports bar, a kids club and a gym. Unfortunately, though, there’s no spa. The resort offers access to a public beach, so you’ll likely have to contend with beach vendors. Compared to other all-inclusive resorts, amenities are more limited, so we recommend this property for long-weekend getaways rather than full-week stays. Still, there’s no denying you can find great deals here.

Rates at the Holiday Inn Resort Ixtapa All-Inclusive start at $182 or 50,000 IHG One Rewards points per night.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Six Senses Vana

Dehradun, India



Best for: An all-inclusive wellness retreat in a serene, nature-friendly environment.

Why stay here: Enjoy an in-depth wellness consultation at the start of your stay. Based on this consultation, a plan of treatments, activities, experiences and meals will be designed just for you.

Best way to book: Book directly with IHG to earn or redeem IHG One Rewards points and enjoy any elite benefits.

If beach vacations aren’t your thing, consider an all-inclusive wellness retreat. One of the luxury brand’s newest properties, Six Senses Vana sits outside the Indian city of Dehradun on 21 private acres in the foothills of the Himalayas. Though you can book single-night stays, the property is best known for its multi-day wellness programs. Options include five-night sleep, detox and yoga programs, and 14-night and 17-night Ayurveda programs.

Even if you don’t select one of those more intensive programs, you’ll still receive wellness consultations and personalized treatments, nutrition plans and access to group activities — all of which are included in the rate. You’ll receive a kurta, or tunic, to wear while you’re on the property and given a red-string blessing for your wrist.

Beyond all the wellness treatments and programs, there’s also time for a little fun. Enjoy a pool, sports courts and a cinema when you’re not getting a massage, taking a yoga class or spending time in the meditation cave.

Rates at Six Senses Vana start at $1,003 or 100,000 IHG One Rewards points per night.

InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa

Bora Bora, French Polynesia



Best for: Island-hoppers searching for that perfect overwater villa experience.

Why stay here: The 13,000-square-foot Deep Ocean Spa offers Polynesian-inspired treatments performed in serene glass-bottom bungalows.

Best way to book: Book through our partner Skylark to earn IHG points while enjoying elite-like benefits and on-property credits or via American Express’ Fine Hotels + Resorts or Chase’s Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection, or redeem your points by booking directly with IHG.

Scratch your overwater bungalow itch with a stay at the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa, where all 84 guest villas hover above the water. You can upgrade from a standard beach view to a Mount Otemanu view or splurge on a two-bedroom villa with a private pool.

Though not an all-inclusive property, the resort does offer a half-board rate that comes with breakfast and dinner. (Potential guests should note that dinner does not include drinks or room service.) Breakfast is absolutely worth it, though. Our reviewer noted extensive offerings, from cold spreads to an omelet station to a Polynesian specialty table.

The included dinners are three-course meals at either the Reef Restaurant or the Sands Restaurant, which serve French and international cuisine, respectively. You’ll have to pay out of pocket for the exquisite dining experience at the Le Corail Restaurant, a romantic French fine dining spot.

One can’t-miss amenity at this resort is the Thalasso Spa. As its name indicates, the spa focuses on thalassotherapy treatments that incorporate sea-based ingredients. The treatment rooms are overwater, so you can look at the fish beneath you during a massage.

Rates at the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa start at $1,148 or 120,000 IHG One Rewards points per night.

InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau Resort

Raa Atoll, Maldives



Best for: Families and couples looking for a Maldivian experience with a more all-inclusive feel.

Why stay here: From The Retreat, an adults-only enclave, to the family-centered, three-bedroom overwater residences, each guest can find a space right for them.

Best way to book: Book directly with IHG to earn or redeem IHG One Rewards points or via Chase’s Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection.

Though it’s not an all-inclusive resort, the InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau does have an all-inclusive package — a pretty stellar one at that. The package includes three meals daily, unlimited alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, seaplane transfers, a 30-minute photoshoot, and Club InterContinental benefits like afternoon tea and happy hour.

Keep in mind that there’s a four-day minimum stay to book this package. If you plan to stay for fewer days, consider the half-board option that just includes breakfast and dinner (and that 30-minute photoshoot and Club InterContinental benefits).

The resort has 81 villas — including overwater bungalows — and caters to all types of travelers, including families. There’s a kids club with a water park, but there’s also an adults-only pool with a swim-up bar (not to mention a spa and fitness center) for couples or adult groups on vacation. The cuisine is quite varied at the five restaurants, one of which is a Mediterranean spot at the lighthouse.

Rates at the InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau Resort start at $974 or 120,000 IHG One Rewards points per night.

InterContinental Resort Mauritius

Fort Balaclava, Mauritius



Best for: Families and couples who don’t mind having kids around.

Why stay here: It’s easy to relax at this beach resort, where the vibe is delightfully laid-back and low-key.

Best way to book: Book directly with IHG to earn or redeem IHG One Rewards points and enjoy any elite benefits.

Coming off a renovation in 2021, the InterContinental Resort Mauritius is a high-design resort on a private beach. While it has offered all-inclusive packages in the past, they’re not always available. Instead, you might have to go with a half-board package.

Still, hotels in Mauritius, including this one, often have lower prices than their counterparts in other Indian Ocean nations. This can make spending on lunch a palatable affair (pun intended). There are four restaurants here, plus a beach bar and a lobby bar.

The resort is largely family-friendly and offers a standout kids club with robust programming. It also has extensive event and meeting space — you’ll really find all sorts of travelers here. While the hotel is set on a beach, the sea here isn’t all that great for swimming. However, there are two lovely pools. There’s also a boat house where you can rent kayaks and snorkel gear, and book boating excursions.

Rates at the InterContinental Resort Mauritius start at $336 or 76,000 IHG One Rewards points per night.

InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort

Phu Quoc, Vietnam



Best for: Beach-loving families and couples looking for a Southeast Asian getaway.

Why stay here: On Vietnam’s largest island, this resort has everything you need for a tropical vacation, from two massive pools to six bars and restaurants to a spa.

Best way to book: Book directly with IHG to earn or redeem IHG One Rewards points and enjoy any elite benefits.

The InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort is not an all-inclusive property, but it actually has a pretty impressive full-board package. The deal includes a buffet breakfast plus a three-course lunch and dinner at three of the property’s four restaurants (excluding the fine-dining restaurant Lava).

Each guest also receives a daily cocktail at the Ink 360 rooftop bar, as well as 20% off food and nonalcoholic beverage bills as part of the IHG One Rewards Dining Privilege. That includes sweet treats at the Pearl Lounge and grab-and-go items at Mercado.

The resort houses most of its 459 rooms in one of five towers, including the 19-story Sky Tower, which features a rooftop bar. However, there are also stand-alone three- and four-bedroom villas with private pools. Enjoy shared amenities like four pools (including a lap pool and one with a waterslide), a spa, a fitness center, a kids club, sports courts and a beach hut from which guests can partake in nonmotorized water sports for free.

Rates at the InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort start at $148 or 26,000 IHG One Rewards points per night.

Holiday Inn Resort Aruba-Beach Resort & Casino

Noord, Aruba



Best for: IHG One Rewards members who want to earn and burn points while vacationing in Aruba.

Why stay here: A massive resort in the center of it all, this property is ideal for budget-conscious families, as kids 11 and younger stay and dine for free and only a dining fee is charged for guests between 12 and 19.

Best way to book: Book the Holiday Inn Resort Aruba-Beach Resort & Casino directly through the resort’s website, as it’s the only way to reserve the all-inclusive package.

The Holiday Inn Resort Aruba-Beach Resort & Casino is a solid choice for families. It offers a “kids stay free” deal for guests 19 and under who stay in a room with their parents, and a “kids eat free” deal available to children 11 and under.

Its all-inclusive package kicks the hotel up a notch for adults, too. It includes three meals a day in any on-property restaurant, house drinks and nonalcoholic beverages, a $75 spa credit, and a 25% discount for tours and water sports by a third-party operator. The package does require a four-night stay, but that shouldn’t be hard to meet.

The 590-room resort is located on the popular Palm Beach in Noord, and it offers guests three pools, a kids club, sports courts, five restaurants, a lobby bar and cafe, a spa and a casino. There are also complimentary bike rentals for guests who want to explore the area.

Rates at the Holiday Inn Resort Aruba-Beach Resort & Casino start at $250 or 45,000 IHG One Rewards points per night.

Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives

South Malé Atoll, Maldives



Best for: IHG One Rewards members looking for a reasonable redemption rate in one of the world’s most exclusive destinations.

Why stay here: This is one of the more affordable resorts in the Maldives that still has overwater bungalows — and solid snorkeling and surfing.

Best way to book: Book directly with IHG to earn or redeem IHG One Rewards points and enjoy any elite benefits.

The Maldives might have a reputation for over-the-top luxury, but there are several properties that offer a strong value. The Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives is one of them.

Though it’s a more basic property, it has overwater bungalows and an all-inclusive package that comes with three meals a day at Kandooma Cafe, a beverage package for alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks, shared airport transfers and complimentary nonmotorized sports. On top of that, kids 11 and under stay and eat free here.

If you’d like to dine beyond Kandooma Cafe, there are a few eateries and bars for light snacks. The Kitchen restaurant offers a full sit-down affair. The resort features a spa, a pool and a kids club. However, overall, amenities are a little limited. There are free snorkel trips each morning, and you can snorkel on your own around part of the resort. This is also one of the few places in the Maldives you can surf.

Rates at the Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives start at $183 or 30,000 IHG One Rewards points per night.

Crowne Plaza Jordan – Dead Sea Resort & Spa

Swemieh, Jordan



Best for: Travelers exploring Jordan who need a few days of rest and relaxation.

Why stay here: A grand resort on the Dead Sea, this property has a nearly 60,000-square-foot pool called The Lake, as well as an adults-only infinity pool.

Best way to book: Book directly with IHG to earn or redeem IHG One Rewards points and enjoy any elite benefits.

Many visitors to Jordan rush off to Petra and Wadi Rum on an action-packed itinerary. When it comes time for a rest, though, there’s no better place to go than a beach resort on the Dead Sea. The Crowne Plaza Jordan – Dead Sea Resort & Spa provides the perfect respite — with an all-inclusive package to boot. The offer includes three meals a day plus soft drinks.

This is a sprawling resort with 420 rooms set on a private beach, but its nearly 60,000-square-foot pool can easily compete with the Dead Sea. There’s also a similarly sized spa with 30 treatment rooms, a hydrotherapy circuit and a Dead Sea saltwater pool, among other wellness amenities.

Of the four appealing dining venues, the Burj Al Hamam restaurant, which serves Lebanese cuisine, is a standout. The Promenade Restaurant is also popular for its beach views and cocktails at sunset.

Rates at the Crowne Plaza Jordan – Dead Sea Resort & Spa start at $160 or 27,000 IHG One Rewards points per night.

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address


Christian family goes in hiding after being cleared of blasphemy



Christian family goes in hiding after being cleared of blasphemy

LAHORE, Pakistan — A court in Pakistan granted bail to a Christian falsely charged with blasphemy, but he and his family have separated and gone into hiding amid threats to their lives, sources said.

Haroon Shahzad (right) with attorney Aneeqa Maria. | The Voice Society/Morning Star News

Haroon Shahzad, 45, was released from Sargodha District Jail on Nov. 15, said his attorney, Aneeqa Maria. Shahzad was charged with blasphemy on June 30 after posting Bible verses on Facebook that infuriated Muslims, causing dozens of Christian families in Chak 49 Shumaali, near Sargodha in Punjab Province, to flee their homes.

Lahore High Court Judge Ali Baqir Najfi granted bail on Nov. 6, but the decision and his release on Nov. 15 were not made public until now due to security fears for his life, Maria said.

Shahzad told Morning Star News by telephone from an undisclosed location that the false accusation has changed his family’s lives forever.

“My family has been on the run from the time I was implicated in this false charge and arrested by the police under mob pressure,” Shahzad told Morning Star News. “My eldest daughter had just started her second year in college, but it’s been more than four months now that she hasn’t been able to return to her institution. My other children are also unable to resume their education as my family is compelled to change their location after 15-20 days as a security precaution.”

Though he was not tortured during incarceration, he said, the pain of being away from his family and thinking about their well-being and safety gave him countless sleepless nights.

“All of this is due to the fact that the complainant, Imran Ladhar, has widely shared my photo on social media and declared me liable for death for alleged blasphemy,” he said in a choked voice. “As soon as Ladhar heard about my bail, he and his accomplices started gathering people in the village and incited them against me and my family. He’s trying his best to ensure that we are never able to go back to the village.”

Shahzad has met with his family only once since his release on bail, and they are unable to return to their village in the foreseeable future, he said.

“We are not together,” he told Morning Star News. “They are living at a relative’s house while I’m taking refuge elsewhere. I don’t know when this agonizing situation will come to an end.”

The Christian said the complainant, said to be a member of Islamist extremist party Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan and also allegedly connected with banned terrorist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, filed the charge because of a grudge. Shahzad said he and his family had obtained valuable government land and allotted it for construction of a church building, and Ladhar and others had filed multiple cases against the allotment and lost all of them after a four-year legal battle.

“Another probable reason for Ladhar’s jealousy could be that we were financially better off than most Christian families of the village,” he said. “I was running a successful paint business in Sargodha city, but that too has shut down due to this case.”

Regarding the social media post, Shahzad said he had no intention of hurting Muslim sentiments by sharing the biblical verse on his Facebook page.

“I posted the verse a week before Eid Al Adha [Feast of the Sacrifice] but I had no idea that it would be used to target me and my family,” he said. “In fact, when I came to know that Ladhar was provoking the villagers against me, I deleted the post and decided to meet the village elders to explain my position.”

The village elders were already influenced by Ladhar and refused to listen to him, Shahzad said.

“I was left with no option but to flee the village when I heard that Ladhar was amassing a mob to attack me,” he said.

Shahzad pleaded with government authorities for justice, saying he should not be punished for sharing a verse from the Bible that in no way constituted blasphemy.

Similar to other cases

Shahzad’s attorney, Maria, told Morning Star News that events in Shahzad’s case were similar to other blasphemy cases filed against Christians.

“Defective investigation, mala fide on the part of the police and complainant, violent protests against the accused persons and threats to them and their families, forcing their displacement from their ancestral areas, have become hallmarks of all blasphemy allegations in Pakistan,” said Maria, head of The Voice Society, a Christian paralegal organization.

She said that the case filed against Shahzad was gross violation of Section 196 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), which states that police cannot register a case under the Section 295-A blasphemy statute against a private citizen without the approval of the provincial government or federal agencies.

Maria added that Shahzad and his family have continued to suffer even though there was no evidence of blasphemy.

“The social stigma attached with a blasphemy accusation will likely have a long-lasting impact on their lives, whereas his accuser, Imran Ladhar, would not have to face any consequence of his false accusation,” she said.

The judge who granted bail noted that Shahzad was charged with blasphemy under Section 295-A, which is a non-cognizable offense, and Section 298, which is bailable. The judge also noted that police had not submitted the forensic report of Shahzad’s cell phone and said evidence was required to prove that the social media was blasphemous, according to Maria.

Bail was set at 100,000 Pakistani rupees (US $350) and two personal sureties, and the judge ordered police to further investigate, she said.

Shahzad, a paint contractor, on June 29 posted on his Facebook page 1 Cor. 10:18-21 regarding food sacrificed to idols, as Muslims were beginning the four-day festival of Eid al-Adha, which involves slaughtering an animal and sharing the meat.

A Muslim villager took a screenshot of the post, sent it to local social media groups and accused Shahzad of likening Muslims to pagans and disrespecting the Abrahamic tradition of animal sacrifice.

Though Shahzad made no comment in the post, inflammatory or otherwise, the situation became tense after Friday prayers when announcements were made from mosque loudspeakers telling people to gather for a protest, family sources previously told Morning Star News.

Fearing violence as mobs grew in the village, most Christian families fled their homes, leaving everything behind.

In a bid to restore order, the police registered a case against Shahzad under Sections 295-A and 298. Section 295-A relates to “deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs” and is punishable with imprisonment of up to 10 years and fine, or both. Section 298 prescribes up to one year in prison and a fine, or both, for hurting religious sentiments.

Pakistan ranked seventh on Open Doors’ 2023 World Watch List of the most difficult places to be a Christian, up from eighth the previous year.

Morning Star News is the only independent news service focusing exclusively on the persecution of Christians. The nonprofit’s mission is to provide complete, reliable, even-handed news in order to empower those in the free world to help persecuted Christians, and to encourage persecuted Christians by informing them that they are not alone in their suffering.

Free Religious Freedom Updates

Join thousands of others to get the FREEDOM POST newsletter for free, sent twice a week from The Christian Post.

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading


Individual + Team Stats: Hornets vs. Timberwolves



CHARLOTTE HORNETS MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES You can follow us for future coverage by liking us on Facebook & following us on X: Facebook – All Hornets X – …

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading


What went wrong with ‘the Metaverse’? An insider’s postmortem



What went wrong with 'the Metaverse'? An insider's postmortem

It’s now two years since Facebook changed its name to Meta, ushering in a brief but blazing enthusiasm over “the Metaverse”, a concept from science fiction that suddenly seemed to be the next inevitable leap in technology. For most people in tech, however, the term has since lost its luster, seemingly supplanted by any product with “artificial intelligence” attached to its description. 

But the true story of the Metaverse’s rise and fall in public awareness is much more complicated and interesting than simply being the short life cycle of a buzzword — it also reflects a collective failure of both imagination and understanding.  


The forgotten novel

Ironically, many tech reporters discounted or even ignored the profound influence of Snow Crash on actual working technologists. The founders of Roblox and Epic (creator of Fortnite) among many other developers were directly inspired by the novel. Despite that, Neal Stephenson’s classic cyberpunk tale has often been depicted as if it were an obscure dystopian tome which merely coined the term. As opposed to what it actually did: describe the concept with a biblical specificity that thousands of developers have referenced in their virtual world projects — many of which have already become extremely popular.


GamesBeat at the Game Awards

We invite you to join us in LA for GamesBeat at the Game Awards event this December 7. Reserve your spot now as space is limited!

Learn More

Snow Crash.

You can see this lack of clarity in many of the mass tech headlines attempting to describe the Metaverse in the wake of Facebook’s name change: 

In a widely shared “obituary” to the Metaverse, Business Insider’s Ed Zitron even compounded the confusion still further by inexplicably misattributing the concept to TRON, the original Disney movie from the 80s.

Had the media referenced Snow Crash far more accurately when the buzz began, they’d come away with a much better understanding of why so many technologists are excited by the Metaverse concept — and realize its early incarnation is already gaining strong user traction.  

Because in the book, the Metaverse is a vast, immersive virtual world that’s simultaneously accessible by millions of people through highly customizable avatars and powerful experience creation tools that are integrated with the offline world through its virtual economy and external technology. In other words, it’s more or less like Roblox and Fortnite — platforms with many tens of millions of active users. 

But then again, the tech media can’t be fully blamed for following Mark Zuckerberg’s lead.

Rather than create a vision for its Metaverse iterating on already successful platforms — Roblox’s 2020 IPO filing even describes itself as the metaverse — Meta’s executive leadership cobbled together a mishmash of disparate products. Most of which, such as remotely working in VR headsets, remain far from proven. According to an internal Blind survey, a majority of Zuckerberg’s own employees say he has not adequately explained what he means by the Metaverse even to them.

Grievous of all, Zuckerberg and his CTO Andrew Bosworth promoted a conception of the Metaverse in which the Quest headset was central. To do so, they had to overlook compelling evidence — raised by senior Microsoft researcher danah boyd at the time of the company acquiring Oculus in 2014 — that females have a high propensity to get nauseous using VR.

Meta Quest 3 comes out on October 10 for $500.
Meta Quest 3.

Contacted in late 2022 while writing Making a Metaverse That Matters, danah told me no one at Oculus or Meta followed up with her about the research questions she raised. Over the years, I have asked several senior Meta staffers (past and present) about this and have yet to receive an adequate reply. Unsurprisingly, Meta’s Quest 2 VR headset has an estimated install base of only about 20 million units, significantly smaller than the customer count of leading video game consoles. A product that tends to make half the population puke is not exactly destined for the mass market — let alone a reliable base for building the Metaverse. 

Ironically, Neal Stephenson himself has frequently insisted that virtual reality is absolutely not a prerequisite for the Metaverse, since flat screens display immersive virtual worlds just fine. But here again, the tech media instead ratified Meta’s flawed VR-centric vision by constantly illustrating articles about the Metaverse with photos of people happily donning headsets to access it — inadvertently setting up a straw man destined to soon go ablaze.

Duct-taped to yet another buzzword

Further sealing the Metaverse hype wave’s fate, it crested around the same time that Web3 and crypto were still enjoying their own euphoria period. This inevitably spawned the “cryptoverse” with platforms like Decentraland and The Sandbox. When the crypto crash came, it was easy to assume the Metaverse was also part of that fall.

But the cryptoverse platforms failed in the same way that other crypto schemes have gone awry: By offering a virtual world as a speculative opportunity, it primarily attracted crypto speculators, not virtual world enthusiasts. By October of 2022, Decentraland was only tracking 7,000 daily active users, game industry analyst Lars Doucet informed me

“Everybody who is still playing is basically just playing poker,” as Lars put it. “This seems to be a kind of recurring trend in dead-end crypto projects. Kind of an eerie rhyme with left-behind American cities where drugs come in and anyone who is left is strung out at a slot machine parlor or liquor store.”

All this occurred as the rise of generative AI birthed another, shinier buzzword — one that people not well-versed in immersive virtual worlds could better understand.

But as “the Metaverse” receded as a hype totem, a hilarious thing happened: Actual metaverse platforms continued growing. Roblox now counts over 300 million monthly active users, making its population nearly the size of the entire United States; Fortnite had its best usage day in 6 years. Meta continues plodding along but seems to finally be learning from its mistakes — for instance, launching a mobile version of its metaverse platform Horizon Worlds.  

Roblox leads the rise of user-generated content.

Into this mix, a new wave of metaverse platforms is preparing to launch, refreshingly led by seasoned, successful game developers: Raph Koster with Playable Worlds, Jenova Chen with his early, successful forays into metaverse experiences, and Everywhere, a metaverse platform lead developed by a veteran of the Grand Theft Auto franchise.

At some point, everyone in tech who co-signed the “death” of the Metaverse may notice this sustained growth. By then however, the term may no longer require much usage, just as the term “information superhighway” fell away as broadband Internet went mainstream.  

Wagner James Au is author of Making a Metaverse That Matters: From Snow Crash & Second Life to A Virtual World Worth Fighting For 

GamesBeat’s creed when covering the game industry is “where passion meets business.” What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you — not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. Discover our Briefings.

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading