Why is everyone talking about the Metaverse? You can put it down to brands and business, or the re-wiring of the collective consciousness and the inevitability of the internet. You can attribute it to the rise of play-to-earn gaming and the financial freedom it affords. If you must, you can even allude to the crazy eyes of Mark Zuckerberg and his Meta machine. Whatever the collection of ingredients that has brought us here, one thing is sure, the Metaverse is important, its uptake accelerating like a Tesla.
What is the Metaverse?
Although incomplete, the Metaverse is the future of the internet, a digital domain where entertainment, business, culture and society dance in a collective experience. An addition to, or continuation of reality, not a replacement (at least not yet). Decentraland, The Sandbox, Realm, Polkacity, Star Atlas, Meta, a cacophony of new games and platforms every week. You can see why the Metaverse is so important. Because it will touch every aspect of our lives.
Brands in the Metaverse
Nike buying RTFKT, the digital fashion brand behind Clone-X, so they can battle Adidas and the BAYC is a multi-million dollar snapshot of how important brands see the Metaverse. Every week, Metaverse A-Listers are joined by more global brands spending a third of their marketing budget to buy land parcels in The Sandbox, or $2.4 million in the fashion district of Decentraland. Pepsi, Budweiser, Coca-Cola, The NBA, The NFL and the Premier League. It won’t stop until every brand has a piece of the Metaverse.
Just how powerful The economic and financial value of the Metaverse will become was validated by a recent report from Grayscale. They valued the Metaverse at $1.5 trillion. Morgan Stanley estimated the virtual luxury market alone will be worth $57 billion by the year 2030. There isn’t a brand, large or small, which doesn’t have money or time invested in the Metaverse. People haven’t lost their minds, the Metaverse is really happening.
Play-to-earn in the Metaverse
But these numbers are small fry to the true value product of the Metaverse. While the brands pay, the rest of the world plays. The biggest entertainment machine on our little blue planet Earth. Bigger than cinema and music combined. Metaverse-ready before Metaverse-ready became a buzzword. Playing to earn long before play-to-earn became a buzzword.
Games like Battle Wave 2323, Gods Unchained, Splinterlands, Aavegocthi, and the breathtaking Star Atlas. Illuvium, My Neighbour Alice, The Sandbox and Light Nite. Billion dollar platforms pushing the Metaverse narrative.
Vitalik Buterin himself was famously motivated to start recreating the Internet because of Blizzard’s omnipresent control over World Of Warcraft. He wanted his time and effort to be rewarded, his weapons and items to be his. When a game was finished, he believed the player should profit, not the gaming company. Play to earn is the Metaverse writ large, the beacon flashing brightly with the ultimate use case: entertainment and financial reward. 3 billion people play games. The industry is worth $336 billion, and that is a conservative estimate. These players and the finance backing it will move to the Metaverse sooner rather than later.
They won’t all survive, some will be gobbled up, merge with other games and platforms, splinter off – as in real life. From this big bang will be the central real estate, platforms and games on which the future of the internet will be built. You could think of these as the holding platforms, the Googles and Facebooks and Amazons of today, the portals which give access to all the other services and experiences.
Big Tech in the Metaverse
Which leads us nicely to big technology. Meta goes against the philosophy of Web3, so we won’t dwell on it for too long, suffice to say you can’t write about the importance of the Metaverse without mentioning it. If the world’s biggest megalomaniac sees it as the future, everyone else will. The world is waking up to the Metaverse, and so should you.