DECEMBER 6, 2021
9 min read
Imagine a world where you’ve got a virtual avatar who acts on your behalf, interacts with 3D environments, and sometimes is even able to customise them. Done? What if someone told you that this world is currently under development? Moreover, within about a decade, you may become one of the pioneers taking advantage of what it has in store for humanity. Spoiler alert, it’s not a sci-fi novel! Although there is one. In 1992, Neal Stephenson crafted a novel called Snow Crash that revealed a story about avatars living in virtual reality. Since then, savvy minds have been daydreaming about breathing life into the metaverse concept.
Today Mark Zuckerberg is stirring excitement about this phenomenon, especially after rebranding Facebook to Meta, thereby explicitly hinting at the impending revolution. The global pandemic, given related social distancing practices, has definitely made a brouhaha over the metaverse notion. In case the idea behind this intricate term is still foggy, here’s the definition: a metaverse implies a shared virtual space accessed via the Internet that combines the features of VR, AR, online gaming, social networking, holography, crypto, etc. to allow its users to interact with one another without leaving their rooms.
According to the latest survey, 32% of respondents from the US are interested in Meta’s upcoming metaverse project, 39% of whom are male and 27% — female. Besides, 43% of those curious are 18-34 years old, while 48% — 35-44. What this statistical data presupposes is that most people, at least in the US, still can’t quite grasp the gist of what this metaverse project is all about. Moreover, Facebook hasn’t monopolised this initiative. So, if you’ve got what it takes and are eager to contribute to the metaverse innovation, stay tuned for the next revelations about how virtual realities can change the future of business forever.
Are We in the Metaverse? — Not the Same as the Matrix but Close to It
All right, the metaverse reality is still quite difficult to imagine. But what about augmented, virtual, and mixed reality technologies? Their global market amounts to about $31bn in 2021 and is projected to grow to $300bn by 2024. Looks impressive, right? It’s high time tech organisations invested heavily in this industry! The newest virtual worlds are already here: they’re just stuck in the gaming industry and are rarely used within other business sectors. Yet, what does ‘virtually’ mean? To illustrate, such world-known franchises as Rick and Morty, Tetris, The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Resident Evil, Star Trek, and many more have already occupied their virtual spaces in the VR field. They can’t be referred to as metaverse virtual worlds, but they serve as the vestibule of the new reality.
How will the metaverse bring humanity closer to the fate depicted in The Matrix movie? No doubt, Mark Zuckerberg is interested in rebranding Facebook to Meta not only to pursue new corporate goals but also to break the chain of negative associations people have when they hear about his company. Zuckerberg may also want to get Meta’s users hooked on the upcoming simulation. It’s proved by the corporate focus on dry statistics and numbers reflecting how much as well as in what cases people would like to stay connected to the metaverse. This scenario feels familiar, huh? But how do social trends affect business? Just remember ‘The Social Dilemma’ by Netflix. However, if Mark Zuckerberg can drain the metaverse idea dry, why can’t you?
Metaverse Opportunities for Businesses: Leap at the Chance Until It’s Hot
Did you know that you could buy a limited edition of the Gucci virtual bag for about $4,115? Roblox had developed a Gucci Garden digital space where such a bag’s virtual copy was sold for 350k Robux (the game’s virtual currency), which was the equivalent of slightly more than $4k. Maybe it’s about time tech players took video games more seriously? Well, singers already did. That’s why Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite and its digital world, arranged a virtual concert with Travis Scott, attended by more than 12m Fortnite players.
When the business industry is flooded with metaverse projects, it may be too late to jump into the pool of competition and offer something unique. Therefore, right now is the best time to wedge in. Just take a look at the most rewarding opportunities to make use of:
- Commerce. The metaverse technology will enable many businesses to occupy new digital markets wherein potential customers can interact directly with 3D models of items they’d like to purchase inside a certain virtual universe. Remember the digital replica of a Gucci bag?
- Crypto. Since traditional currencies are unlikely to dominate the future metaverse markets, there may be a place for Bitcoins, Dogecoins, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies. By investing in blockchain technology, you may sufficiently increase your chances of finding the best place in the virtual sun.
- Entertainment/gaming. In 2021, 72% of the US metaverse users had participated in social activities in video games. 44% of them had made purchases of emotes, skins, and in-game content. Also, it’s forecasted that about $17bn would be invested in AR/VR gaming in 2024. It proves that the industry is worth paying attention to.
How Present-Day Companies Already Make Use of Digital-Only Products?
Web 2.0 is gradually attenuating, giving way to Web 3.0. The metaverse reality is expected to become the new Internet. According to Grayscale, the market opportunity underlying the Metaverse is gonna be worth more than $1trln in terms of annual revenue, thus providing its stakeholders with a chance to compete with Web 2.0 corporations whose revenue amounts to $15trln today. Humanity merely needs more time to get used to the idea of digital-only products that exist only inside particular virtual realities.
Have you heard about Upland? It’s a decentralised app revolving around trading virtual real estate connected to actual maps. By using Upland, you can check out the information about real buildings, bid for them, and invest in the app to receive in-game currency for your next purchases. Upland’s case proves that the metaverse technology can be tamed and mounted even today when it’s sufficiently raw. Undoubtedly, what Upland or its alternatives offer can’t be called digital-only products because they have twins in the actual world.
Companies that squeeze the most out of the digital-only concept are video game developers, such as Blizzard, Ubisoft, miHoYo, etc. Thanks to in-game currencies, loot boxes, and other similar stuff offered to players, these companies earn a lot without selling anything beyond their digital worlds. Just look at the following figures: as of November 2021, Roblox Corporation led the industry with a market cap of more than $62bn, followed by Activision Blizzard with almost $55bn, Nintendo — $51bn, and Electronic Arts — about $40bn.
In What Way Has Remote Work Affected the Advent of the Metaverse?
Telecommuting has become the new normal, ruthlessly imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Process manufacturing is now more complex and intricate than ever, sponsorship of events has also moved to digital platforms, as was the case with Fortnite, Travis Scott’s online concert, and the virtual Gucci event. Remote work, Zoom meetings, Google Drive, and other digital solutions for socialising during the pandemic era are now as widespread as smartphones themselves. The same awaits metaverses. That’s why social distancing has spurred technological advancement and innovation. All forces have been accumulated to simplify people’s lives, make them more comfortable, and build a profit out of these demands.
Can Video Games Become a Full-Scale Business within the Metaverse?
AR, VR, and MR video gaming solutions are now as easily accessible as other means of digital entertainment. As evident from the statistics regarding the revenue of game developing studios, gaming can become a real treasure box for modern businesses. The metaverse will only ensure a more immersive experience for players and provide large virtual spaces for digital-only products and currencies. As a product or business owner, you may freely invest in building new cross-world ecosystems because they’re gonna be in high demand when metaverses will blow up the international market. Given the current financial success of online games like Genshin Impact, Fortnite, Dota 2, League of Legends, CS: GO, WoW, and the rest, investing in a video game doesn’t sound infantile anymore.
Digital entertainment in various forms quickly turns into a set of burning opportunities of the business industry. While today VR is the answer to the question of how to change reality instantly, the next milestone is probably waiting behind the metaverse paradigm. For instance, Meta, Naver, and Roblox are currently at the forefront of building their own metaverses. Nevertheless, these systems can eventually become interoperable and almost seamless.
In light of a constantly increasing gamer audience interested in a possible metaverse, launching a startup within this domain may prove a potentially profitable venture. Just to clarify, there were almost 1.5bn gamers only in Asia in 2021. In Europe, the number of gamers has increased to 715m. Astonishingly enough, there are now approximately 3.2bn gamers worldwide, which makes this market a gold mine for business enthusiasts.
The Metaverse Wants Your Business Transformed, Not Reloaded
Virtual economy is already here, but the final blow is only yet to be dealt by the advent of metaverses, be it Facebook’s or someone else’s. Although there are other changes in the economy that affect business, they remain overshadowed by fluctuations in the digital realm. Nowadays, brands like Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Nike, and Gucci are experimenting with virtual items. Essentially, all businesses need to be prepared for the coming of Web 3.0. Hence, DashDevs suggests that you examine the following aspects of preparation to snap off your precious slice of the metaverse cake:
- Rearranging the customer base. Irrespective of the business direction, each brand can create its own virtual space to help customers interact with them, their product, or between each other. Examples of using these virtual realities may include organising digital concerts or inviting clients to look around a future architecture project via a VR headset. Holographic technologies can also be tamed to replace Zoom, Google Meets, or Skype.
- Making use of cryptocurrencies. Trading NFTs is another viable opportunity. Non-fungible tokens are currently used as a currency to buy or sell digital assets and art, such as music or drawings.
- Prioritising digital assets. Moving offline assets into digital platforms also proves helpful in the metaverse race. That’s how you prepare for the coming. You accustom your audience to the value of virtual reality.
Fundamentally, what you need to adapt your business to the advent of metaverses is betting on virtual environments, VR/AR/MR technologies, and 3D modelling. Also, build an audience of people who treasure virtual assets and are interested in crypto along with other big tech innovations. A similar customer base will enable you to quickly tame the metaverse technology of your choice to be ahead of the game.
Reallocate Your Capital to Prepare for the Digital Revolution
The primary step to reallocate your business expenses involves either building your own metaverse, connecting to the already existing, or funding one that’s being currently developed. Capitalising on this metaverse is the next stage that may encompass integrating cryptocurrencies, NFTs, loot boxes, bonuses, and other exchangeable stuff that will help commercialise your digital activity. Finally, when the revenue is built and remains stable, you can begin innovating your virtual world or implementing something never-before-seen within a third-party metaverse.
What’s hidden behind capital reallocation is that you should change the focus of your enterprise to capture new business trends chiefly relying on VR/AR/MR, crypto, 360º video cameras, online gaming, 3D modelling, and other technologies that help customers expand reality. Reloading your enterprise is a crucial step towards the metaverse paradigm. Business revamp is only one side of the coin, while another will require you to study competitors. Pay attention to most in-demand businesses and examine how they’re preparing for the digital revolution.
So, How to Saddle Up this New Trend of Business?
How to create a new sustainable business that would combine trends and attention to the environment, consider demand, and remain profitable in the long run? Everything and even more can be launched within metaverses. Just keep your finger on the pulse to catch each new business growth opportunity! For sure, this metaverse remains a blurry concept, so it’s a good occasion to have a share in this pie by investing in the right solutions.
If metaverses seem way too evasive and you feel hesitant about this venture, contact DashDevs to get clearer insights. It’s easier to make decisions when you’re equipped with knowledge!