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The metaverse continues to push forward in the technological realm as more individuals and brands have caught wind of its overwhelming potential. Despite its newfound popularity, the idea of the metaverse is far from being a brand-new concept. Until recently, it was merely an idea that had been introduced and toggled with, but it was never officially created as past attempts lost traction over time.
Much of its recent rise in popularity can be directly attributed to Facebook’s rebranding to ‘Meta’ back in October of 2021. The social media platform cited plans to invest $10 billion into the metaverse last year alone and make a full transition into it within the next five years. Along with Facebook, big names such as Microsoft have begun crafting their own metaverse vision as well.
The metaverse explained
It’s obvious that big brands have come public with their support for the metaverse, but what ‘exactly’ is it? The answer is quite a bit more complex than one might expect, but, no, it’s not an alternate universe that humans can physically transport to (like some movies and science fiction novels might suggest).
The term metaverse can be credited to author, Neal Stephenson, in his 1992 science fiction novel “Snow Crash,” a book about a hacker who goes back and forth between Los Angeles and a virtual reality called the metaverse.
Since then, the term metaverse has largely expanded to being a virtual world that includes augmented reality, 3D avatars, and virtual reality. The metaverse is essentially a world that allows its users to do things like socially interact with one another, conduct transactions, and play games.
Companies are utilizing the metaverse as a growth strategy
Bloomberg has reported that the digital environment is going to grow to 800 million by 2025 and will multiply to 2.5 trillion by 2030. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that companies, especially the tech-savvy ones, are seeing value in the metaverse.
For one, it has two major areas of distinction: interactivity and interoperability. From users communicating and interacting with one another to shopping and trying on clothes, the possibilities are truly endless. Some companies, such as Adidas, have even created their own NFTs that give holders exclusive access to their products. Shortly after launch, Addidas managed to sell $22 million worth of NFTs in one afternoon.
Metaverse projects and their offerings
Below are some projects that bring incredible value within the metaverse. This not only includes gaming but a variety of other uses.
Decentraland is a 3D virtual world that allows its users to buy virtual plots of land and other objects as NFTs using MANA, which is located on the Ethereum blockchain.
The project has laid out a variety of other offerings since its launch, including its first music festival organized by BEAR NFT back in 2021. More recently, the project opened a virtual shopping mall in March of this year that includes luxury fashion brand Dolce and Gabbana along with web3 brands like FangGang.
Like Decentraland, Sandbox is basically a gaming platform on steroids. Users can buy their own land using the above-mentioned method.
In contrast to Decentraland, one of Sandbox’s most interesting features is called VoxEdit, which allows its users to create their own NFTs. After being created, users can upload, publish, and sell their creations via the Sandbox NFT marketplace. In addition, the platform has a feature called The Sandbox Game Maker that allows users to build their very own 3D games without having any prior coding experience.
A prominent piece of the Sandbox puzzle is the SAND token, which is required to do things like play games, conduct transactions, and customize avatars.
GAMA is unique in its approach to create a one-of-a-kind user experience through multi-layerd entertainment events, games and graphic storytelling formats that have been previously introduced in the form of both physical and digital collectibles.
While the project focuses on building an immersive entertainment experience for its community, it also takes it one step further. GAMA aims to expand its metaverse offering through other forms of collaborations with talent and brands that are looking for a metaverse offering with the opportunity to reach a vast global community. These formats are laying the foundation for future immersive experiences that can be built and played within a universal metaverse.
Unlike platforms like Sandbox and Roblox, GAMA aims to give users a realistic experience instead of a pixelated appearance that’s commonly integrated with early metaverse platforms. They execute this strategy using the computer graphics game engine, Unreal 5. This engine, which was developed by Epic Games, is used by high-end games and has also been adopted by the television and film industry.
Most recently, GAMA showcased aspects of its platform offerings through live events at NYC.NFT and at San Diego Comic-Con. Attendees were able to get a first look at the upgraded GSS metaverse while getting access to exclusive opportunities by attending. Features such as private living quarters and space-themed zero gravity areas lend themselves to creating a futuristic environment for every user while delivering unique value through NFTs.
Gaming, transactions, and so much more
Metaverses are most often seen in the same light as video games. While many are geared towards gamers, the concept opens itself to a wide number of possibilities in and outside of the gaming industry. In fact, metaverses are most defined by the social aspect; it brings users together within a virtual space.
There’s much more to the metaverse than what meets the eye. It’s a virtual world that has endless possibilities and use cases, especially for brands longing to see scaling and growth. It’s going to be incredibly interesting to see how the metaverse evolves over the next decade. It certainly has the potential to transform the way people interact in the digital world.
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