The latter half of 2021 was aplomb with stories about “The Metaverse”. Fuelled by Facebook's plans to invest billions in the future internet technology, the intent exploded with the next-gen dystopian buzzword.
However, despite massive purchases in Metaverses like Sandbox and Decentraland, and the involvement of governments, the technology has one major problem. It’s not popular and no one cares.
The Metaverse is fuelled by investors
In recent months, it’s been revealed that the whole crypto industry isn't anywhere near as popular as it appears. Despite being worth billions, the majority of crypto is owned by a miniscule percentage of investors.
The same is true of cryptoart, aka NFTs, which seemingly took the internet by storm last year. Despite major companies — from Marvel to Ubisoft — investing in the technology, those outside of the feverous crypto fanbase aren't biting at all.
This has been proven in multiple ways. For starters, Ubisoft’s NFT launch for Ghost Recon: Breakpoint saw very little purchases, proving that core gamers had no interest in crypto art. Secondly, it’s been proven that the NFT industry as a whole belongs to a miniscule audience of just over 350,000 people.
The Metaverse mirrors this. Despite having investors dumping countless millions into Sandbox, Decentraland, CryptoGuards and Horizon Worlds, the only interested parties are those who have already put money in crypto and crypto art.
Investors’ Meterversal Land Grab
With cryptocurrency and cryptoart all being siphoned up by a relatively low number of people, the same is true of Metaverses. Like any product, investors are trying very hard to get normal people to engage with the technology.
This can be seen with the introduction of celebrities and brands into Metaverse worlds. For example, as Adidas and Snoop Dogg attempt to draw more people into the metaverse using their brand identity, that makes the technology more viable.
Of course, it also helps that Metaverse land has the capacity to increase in value over time. With Metaverse real estate agents already inflating virtual land to real land prices, investors are hoping for the Metaverse’s faux popularity to become true popularity. Only then can they make a return on that investment.
Investors want people to hear about metaverse trends and get involved. Much like crypto, this can result in “pump and dump” schemes. This means that investors come in while assets are cheap, get the public involved and then sell out and make millions more.