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The Road to the Metaverse - Modular Solutions for the Internet of the Future

Build your own metaverse

LIMASSOL, CYPRUS, March 31, 2023/ -- The Metaverse and options for business interaction with it have become one of the hottest topics of 2022, and this trend will certainly continue, with adjustments to the growing popularity of generative AI. According to McKinsey's annual report, more than 57% of companies already use metaverses in their business, and 59% of network users are ready to transfer some of their interactions to metaverses. In 2022, investment in this area exceeded $120 billion, and the expected capitalization of the market could reach $3 trillion by 2030.

The growing popularity of the trend is supported by the active involvement of brands. For example, clothing and accessories manufacturer Gucci has released virtual wearable accessories for the Sandbox, sports brand Nike has created a Nikeland world in the Roblox, and many brands, including Dolce & Gabbana, Tommy Hilfiger and adidas will hold the fashion show Metaverse Fashion Week 2023 in the Decentraland.

What is a metaverse?

Today it is easy enough to get confused about what a metaverse is, because the industry does not have a clear established terminology, and market players call it a narrower particular case of technology application based on their experience and preferences.

For example, for Meta, the metaverse is primarily a set of virtual worlds into which immersion is possible primarily through VR headsets, in which the company has invested billions of dollars. If we look at blockchain-oriented platforms like Decentraland and Sandbox, the main focus of metaverse development will be exactly in decentralization and integration of NFT. And if we look at the audience size, the leaders would be sandboxes like Roblox or Minecraft, with their own working economy and ecosystem that have nothing to do with VR or blockchain.

In the abstract, a metaverse is a decentralized, persistent collaborative environment, living its own life regardless of the presence of users there. In fact, this definition is very close to what the modern Internet has become today, which means that the truth lies somewhere in the middle between the scenarios described above and over the next decades we will see the modern Internet evolve into something new.

How businesses can get into the metaverse
Almost every Fortune 500 company already has its own metaverse strategy, which means that many businesses are starting to wonder how they can stay on top of the trend.

With the first point, everything is simple enough - you just need to gather a team and lead development for several years to achieve the necessary technological level. According to a rough estimate by Appinventiv, the budget for creating such a product ranges from $100,000 to $4 million, which is slightly more expensive than websites and mobile applications. Plus, you have to remember that there is Meta, which spends over $5 billion a year on its platform and plans to make it its core business.

The second option is a little easier, which is why large brands try to integrate with existing platforms and rely on their existing audience. At the same time, companies have to put up with a lot of platform limitations, but in the case of Roblox, it could be compensated by the volume of the audience, but this cannot last forever.

Moreover, it is increasingly similar to the way ecosystems and platforms operate in today's Web2.0, consolidating many companies under their umbrella and monetizing them with a commission or revenue share, which is a bit at odds with the tenets of independence and decentralization.

World configurators

To ensure your brand's presence in a decentralized metaverse today, it is not necessary to assemble a large team of developers and create something from scratch. One of the effective options are modular platforms for creating virtual worlds, which, similar to CMS for the modern Internet, allow you to create your own small pieces of metaverse.
With the advent of Wix, Tilda, Shopify, and a host of other similar platforms, the landscape of the modern internet has changed as simpler tools have allowed nonprofessionals to engage in the creation of beautiful websites, democratizing business access to the online audience. In roughly the same way, similar to websites, businesses can create their own unique virtual worlds by adding any services or features that they or their audience need, which, in most cases, is simply not possible when it comes to external metaverse platforms.

Basic packages of such solutions will cost companies, on average, as much as a few working days of an experienced developer, and integration capabilities will allow them to use tools that the company uses today - existing 3D product models, cloud data storage, unified authorization with a website or applications, and to connect an external analytics or CRM.

From content to experience

Our perception of the Internet and how people use it is constantly changing. In many ways, this is the influence of technology and the discovery of new formats for interactions, so the market has moved from pictures to video, from chat rooms to social media, from mp3 to streaming services. Roughly the same way, I expect that there will be a shift from 2D to 3D, which will allow users not just to consume content, but to live it through some kind of experience.

This trend has been with us for a while, and media market relies heavily on empathy for various moments with other people. For example, Twitch has built a billion-dollar business on the empathy of streamers playing computer games, and social interactions within online games like DOTA2 or CS:GO are supported by a variety of virtual items that do not affect the gameplay, but form a market of more than $3 billion.

This is why the market will gradually become saturated with new management platforms, not so much for content, but for the user experience gained through interaction in the metaverse where brands could build a more trusting relationship with their audiences, who are moving towards the metaverse.

Andrey Ivashentsev
Metaplan Ltd.
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