In the Metaverse you will be… But patience!
Virtual worlds have generated a cyclical buzz for more than twenty years from the Second World of Canal + to Facebook Horizons. The various buzzes demonstrate the haunting fantasy for the quest for a virtual world in which anything is possible. The real world seems to increasingly catch up with the world of science fiction with the goal of a new generation of internet.
Gaming at the heart of the future success of virtual worlds
There are now over 3 billion video game players in the world, whether on PC, console or mobile. From Zelda to Roblox, the gaming world has always loved virtual worlds. Worlds in which players can step out of their daily routine and create an alternative life that is more or less written down in advance. If virtual ecosystems are not new, it is the boom in gaming that will enable the success of the Metaverse concept with the greatest number of people.
Fortnite, by recently launching Party Worlds, has taken a second step towards the Metaverse. In Party Worlds, players via their avatar can meet, make friends, chat, play mini-games and even dance in the virtual nightclub “Late Night Lounge”. Gaming has clearly implanted the “neural chip” in the brains of gamers around the world to create the Metaverse’s desire.
Goal: full remote
When Mark Zuckerberg renamed Facebook to Meta after launching his Metaverse project, he clearly displayed a goal around the world of remote working. This primary objective was clearly confirmed by Chris Cox, Product Manager at Meta, during the last Web Summit. According to him, meetings on Teams or Zoom have just become boring and unbearable and the addition of a virtual environment should give new meaning to remote meetings and bring back social interaction between collaborators.
Microsoft quickly followed in Meta’s footsteps by also promoting its virtual world around remote working. So it looks like the digital giants’ first Metaverse isn’t for entertainment but rather for production.
Brands and retailers embrace the virtual
Nike, Balanciaga, Gucci, Adidas, Supreme, Louboutin, Dior, Coca-Cola or even Carrefour, H&M and many others have embarked on virtual ecosystems in order to be able to understand and create the business of tomorrow. In the fashion world, the South Korean virtual world is very successful with more than 2 million active users per day. Users whose avatars can dress with many brands present such as Disney, Ralph Lauren, Gucci or Little Monster.
Nike, for its part, created Nikeland on the Roblox gaming platform. Nikeland is a virtual space in which Roblox users can live and share experiences around the brand via mini-games.
Adidas has teamed up with the creators of the infamous Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs to create a Bored Ape avatar that will wear the brand’s tri-stripe attire in the Metaverse. Adidas has also signed a partnership with the virtual world The Sandbox. The Sandbox is a virtual world, with mini-games integrated into the virtual world map, based on “play to earn” thanks to NFTs. In The Sandbox players can buy virtual lands, build on them, buy characters or items. So it’s a safe bet that Adidas can set up a store there to promote their products and maybe even sell virtual items.
The examples of brands associating with video game publishers or virtual worlds are therefore multiplying every week, foreshadowing a trade in the intangible and the virtual for our avatars or our digital double. It’s a safe bet that by buying a garment in the real world we are simultaneously buying the same garment in virtual form for our avatar. In this sense, Nike’s patent to sell shoes in the Metaverse clearly confirms this hypothesis.
In France, the startup Arianee has already launched into the subject by partnering with the creative agency Kitten Productions. Their goal: to sell sweatshirts in the real world while allowing their avatar to be dressed in Decentraland with the digital version of this garment.
One point already seems very clear, the economics of the Metaverse will be inseparable from NFTs and the world of cryptocurrency. Is the commerce of tomorrow already in the hands of the cryptocurrency ecosystem?
The Metaverse Economy
In the last week of November 2021, according to Dappradar, $ 106 million was spent buying real estate on major Metaverse sites, and $ 86 million was spent just on The Sandbox.
For Cathie Wood, CEO of Ark Investment, the world of the Metaverse will be worth several trillions of dollars and will go well beyond gaming for years to come.
The buzz is real and huge around the Metaverse, but it is far from being a reality. The foundations are being laid, in an environment that can be compared to the Far West. However, the concept of this new generation internet should see the light of day within ten years, see you in 2030 with our avatars for a virtual aperitif!