Last week’s event was billed as a beach party offering music and fun to launch the EU’s Global Gateway strategy.
When the costly virtual-reality world was first shown in October, EU staff were already raising concerns, per Devex.
Depressing and embarrassing digital garbage was among the department’s first responses to the underwhelming 387,000 venues.
The EU told the news site that its metaverse aimed to increase awareness among 18-35-year-olds “primarily on TikTok and Instagram” who aren’t politically engaged.
But as it moved from promotional video to virtual reality, it seems the message didn’t reach too many people.
Chadwick tweeted about his experience at the party, saying that there were just five other people in attendance.
He described bemused chats with the other partygoers, as they couldn’t figure out where it was supposed to be.
“The concert is the same DJ spinning the same music,” said one user, while Chadwick questioned if he had the date wrong.
The other attendees then gave up – leaving the singular journalist as the only person at the gala, less than an hour after its advertised start.
The Global Gateway strategy aims to raise 300 billion in investments by 2027 to help the world recover after the pandemic, in an attempt to counter China’s influence.
The metaverse has faced renewed criticism since Mark Zuckerberg announced losses and layoffs at his company, Meta, where the virtual reality division has lost $30.7 billion.
The Financial Times reported that investors were more disgusted after Zuckerberg then doubled down on his vision for the metaverse.