Despite the latest hype about its overwhelming potential, the metaverse is far from a new concept. Technology never stands still, and this idea has been toyed with, with past attempts losing traction over time.
Now, technology keeps changing the face of the digital world; the internet gave us never seen before access at a moment’s notice. This will ring true of the metaverse as it sets to create a more immersive visual digital experience.
Many different industries have adopted the metaverse to exploit its benefits. The gaming industry, however, got on this train earlier than most. We have seen players frequently shifting from online game genres like multiplayer games to Metaverse games.
But what is the hype around metaverse gaming? Will it replace the existing game formats? To find the answers to these questions and more, let’s discuss the metaverse and its influence on next-gen gaming.
What is the Metaverse?
First coined in science fiction in 1992, the metaverse is a virtual world that aims to provide consumers with a 3D interactive entertainment experience. Users can utilize various technologies to interact with each other and objects within a shared digital platform. The rise of the metaverse has compelled gaming companies to switch to metaverse games. Anyone building their metaverse project can leverage augmented reality, virtual reality, IoT, 3D reconstruction, artificial intelligence, and blockchain technologies. There are many virtual worlds, one of the best metaverse games is Decentraland (MANA).
Why The Metaverse Is A Big Deal
Much of its rise in popularity is attributed to the name change by Facebook’s parent company to Meta and its plan to transition the social media platform into it within the next five years. Mark Zuckerberg has identified it as the next big thing in technological development, change, and innovation. Companies across various sectors identify the implications, challenges, and opportunities it will bring.
Gaming in The Metaverse
A decade ago, Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies didn’t exist, and mobile gaming was in its infancy. The idea of mass-market virtual reality and augmented reality wasn’t even a thing yet, and an interconnected metaverse was unfathomable.
Fast forward to today’s recent evolution, where web3 is surpassing web2. Technological integration into entertainment is at a point where now the gaming industry is focused entirely on designing and creating virtual and immersive experiences for users to enjoy.
Metaverse games are becoming popular due to the high-quality visual representation of real-life objects and impressive graphics. Characters are regulated through players’ unique avatars, the virtual representation of real identities. These characters live in the metaverse, exactly how people live in the real world. Players can also invite their social media friends, interact with other players inside the metaverse, and collaborate to enjoy the games together. Since the metaverse leverages AR and VR technologies to create a more immersive experience, players feel just like they would in real life. The interoperability of metaverse gaming platforms allows players to move their gaming items from one space to another without major change.
Besides the immersive experience, blockchain games are based on a play-to-earn concept. All it takes to earn on these platforms is a cryptocurrency wallet, an internet connection, and basic research skills.
This virtual world offers the tokenization of gaming items through NFTs and cryptocurrencies. It also allows users to trade them in secondary markets to earn real-world money in crypto or collect them until they yield rewards on the platform. Players can also maintain the privacy of their character in the metaverse and prove ownership over assets that hold value.
Future Of Metaverse Gaming
The influence of metaverses on the gaming world is fascinating. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are two technologies that the metaverse will increasingly need to leverage as the evolution of making games more realistic and immersive than ever continues.
Metaverse technology has the potential to revolutionize the e-sports industry with a fully immersive digital experience. The move to an immersive hybrid model would bring e-sports fan engagement to completely different levels,” Putera said in a report titled ‘Metaverse Emerging Business Opportunities’, published by Gamespad, a gaming and metaverse company.
The metaverse makes it possible to virtualize entire tournaments. In the report by Gamespad explaining how a meta-based e-sports tournament could benefit consumers, Putera said, “consumers, can imagine themselves in the game itself instead of spectating from the player’s screen with the option to move within the environment.”
Companies like Meta (formerly Facebook) and game developers are “attempting to build a connected virtual universe,” with the gaming industry continuing to grow alongside the metaverse, according to the said report.
Beyond Metaverse Gaming
Experts anticipate the metaverse to develop into a real-time virtual marketplace, with gaming developing concurrently. In the metaverse, games will serve as the new marketing medium beyond just being games. Metaverse will engage brands for product placement, experience stores, and open marketplaces that monetize in-game assets. Thus, playing a larger role in brand promotion, advertising, and customer engagement across the customer lifecycle.
Future metaverse gaming may also decentralize game-play. Gamers control how the game progresses and have much greater agency over their gaming experience, and the role gaming plays in their lives. Decentralized gaming organizations will enable users to vote for how the story goes forward, about game asset valuation in the market, or even in the design of gaming NFTs. This feature has also seeped into the movie industry. Netflix has created TV shows, movies, or trivia where you control the story or answer questions. Furthermore, users who snag an original NFT in either the game or show can go on to sell it in the open market.
Substantial growth in device sales as AR and VR devices further miniaturize and become more commercially viable for mass consumption is expected. Consumers won’t need to buy expensive hardware, consoles, or devices in cloud-based games. The game is streamed directly from a remote server to the consumers’ device. An example of cloud game is Google Stadia.
The metaverse gaming industry is likely to play a large part in the learning and development industry, imparting knowledge through virtual artifacts that put learners in a mixed reality environment.
While still in its early stages, there’s much more to the metaverse than what meets the eye. Its interactivity and interoperability offer endless possibilities and use cases, especially for brands longing to scale and grow. It’s no surprise that tech-savvy companies see value in the metaverse. Some companies and individuals have created their own NFTs that give holders exclusive access to their products and events. Sandbox (SAND) is an example of a futuristic project that brings incredible value to Metaverse gaming and various other areas. Big tech giants like Microsoft are also coming out with their unique Metaverse projects. As more companies adopt the metaverse, watching a more enhanced metaverse unfold will be interesting.
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