Orbital 2000, welcome. The Metaverse is basically dead at this point. The game has reached the end of its lifespan for the huge majority of players. Most people have moved on to other games, including Galactic Civilizations III. No, there is no multiplayer.
Maiden, great to see you and that you have been doing some ZYWs, hehe.
I just finished up playing some Age of Wonders III, then went back to play some Civilization V, and next I'll probably be playing Pillars of Eternity. I also bought a few other games recently on Steam, such as X-COM II and the Age of Empires collection, that I haven't had a chance to play yet.
Sentient species taste better...