European businesses, investors, and talent are all vying for a ticket on the metaverse hype train. Even political heavyweights are making moves — or, at least, pronouncements. French President Emmanuel Macron wants to build “a European metaverse” to challenge US and Chinese tech giants. The EU’s digital chief, Margrethe Vestager, meanwhile, is mulling new antitrust regulation. But their ambitions are a long way from being realized. “The reality is there is no European big tech player of relevance in that whole metaverse future,” says Rolf Illenberger, the cofounder of Munich’s VRdirect, a virtual reality platform for enterprises. “It’s being defined by…

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