2022 was supposed to be the year of the Metaverse, but while Zuckerberg and a few other techies were spending time and money on virtual worlds creating legless avatars, our Most were more concerned. trying to survive in the real world Cost of living crisis, pandemic, climate crisis…
and, The Year of the Metaverse Didn’t Actually HappenIn fact, Meta lost $13.7 billion to Reality Labs (its Metaverse technology arm) in 2022, an expensive gamble that has yet to pay off. Many brands also took the gamble and lost, buying virtual real estate in haste and creating experiences that failed to attract many users with Decentraland and Sandbox. Currently, Decentraland’s average active population is 810 he a day.
Mark Zuckerberg participating in a Meta Quest Pro demonstration at the virtual Meta Connect event in New York in October 2022. Photo: Getty Images
But is the metaverse game over yet? Or is it still evolving to find the right iteration to capture public enthusiasm like generative AI techniques?—ChatGPT, Midjourney, Dall-e from, and Stable Diffusion — these days?
“The Metaverse exploded out of nowhere and quickly disappeared,” says Rob Mills, head of digital at independent digital agency Affinity in Sydney. “The world is intriguing, but most people don’t know what this technology can really do. We may see it follow a similar path to blockchain. But it will come back, and in the meantime there may be, it will become more gimmicky until the technology matures and plays a more powerful role in society and everyday life.”
At least the metaverse is confusing. Ask the majority of people what exactly the Metaverse is, and most of them will not be able to give a clear answer.it is not fully elucidated what it is— virtual reality, mixed reality, augmented reality, avatars without legs, and more. This confusion and too thin spread may be one of the reasons why it didn’t survive.
Antonio Panuccio, digital strategist and media officer at Enigma, said, “We still struggle to understand the ‘why’ of the metaverse, with advocates finding compelling and engaging ways for consumers to engage. It’s not established yet,” he said. “The brand over the last five years has been very quick—probably too fast—to pivot to new technologies and fads. ”
VCCP regional creative director Guy Futcher says he often sees brands jumping into new technology to claim ‘world firsts’, but ideas are often average. . The same applies to the metaverse.
“Most companies don’t think about what matters most.—Whether customers want to spend time there.“So they end up creating expensive digital ghost towns.”
Clockwise from top left: Guy Fucher (VCCP), Tessa Conrad (TBWA), Antonio Panuccio (Enigma), Nuno Dores (Virtue APAC), Rob Mills (Affinity), Mike Jones (The Works), Álvaro Anguita (Initiative), Robin Lau (Dentsu Solutions)
Will 2023 see the return of the Metaverse?
Not everything was a virtual disaster for the Metaverse. After all, 2022 was the year the metaverse was finally recognized on a broader, more mainstream scale.
Nuno Dores, Associate Creative Director, Virtue APAC, said:
“To that end, world-building games are projected to double from 2021 to 2031. Having been around for over a decade, Roblox has grown its daily active user base by 31% in 2021. New experimental Metaverse platforms are currently being developed/launched, such as Bored Ape Yacht Club’s The Otherside, The Fabricant’s Wholeland, Samsung-funded Spatial, etc. It’s being touted as the year of the Metaverse in the marketing world. It may have been, but I feel that 2023 and beyond is just the beginning.”
Hironaga Yai, Senior Strategy Director at MediaMonks Tokyo, sees the Metaverse as a platform that will evolve over time as technology advances.
“If you only look at the hype topics that are trending, you miss the essence of the metaverse,” says Yai. “In Japan, more and more companies are allowing avatars to work, such as Fujisoft, En-Japan, and Hickey. “A Japanese metaverse platform called Cluster attracts tech talent by hosting events on the platform. It will continue to grow, but it will never become a marketing fad.”
Japanese metaverse platform Cluster aims to attract global audiences in virtual space.Photo: Cluster
Far from game over, a new iteration of the metaverse is taking shape in early 2023.
“We can see the industry shedding old ideas of the metaverse and beginning to give new meaning to immersive virtual experiences, their function and purpose, and what it means for the relationship between brands, consumers and technology,” said Robin. Lau says Dentsu Solutions Senior Strategist. From personalized D2C (Direct-to-Consumer) experiences like Bondee, to new technologies powering the next generation of virtual world builders (B2B) like ASUS’ new He 3D laptop display. ”
What kind of Metaverse brand activations will we see this year?
Mike Jones, Head of Digital Experience and Innovation at The Works, said: “And by recognizing that the Metaverse is about sharing experiences, it has the potential to become the new digital town square.”
The Australian Open is a great example of the maturity of the Metaverse experience. In 2022 they built a destination in his Decentraland. It was also considered a success, but required customers to access a more obscure platform and use complex digital wallet accounts set up to access it. It was quite a mountain for beginners to climb.
The Australian Open has virtually moved to Roblox for the 2023 tournament. This provided a more accessible and cost-effective experience. No digital wallet required to access. Participants must have a free Roblox account.The virtual event was a huge successAttracting customers 2.5 times more than live performances.
“We expect this shift in lowering the barrier to entry platform with easy-to-use development tools to be an important lesson to learn from other brands this year,” said Jones.
Tessa Conrad, head of innovation at TBWA Asia, says trust needs to be rebuilt before the metaverse really takes off, and only time and repeated positive actions can do that. says.
“One of the big facets now is understanding regulation and community and brand safety when it comes to blockchain technology that will enable the future of the metaverse and surrounding communities,” Conrad said. We all knew this was going to happen someday.— like all new things — left completely alone, things will go wrong. ”
But Conrad is optimistic about the future and possibilities of the Metaverse, and the role brands can play in building something bottom-up.
“I think this year there will be more focus on the pure community aspect of the Metaverse,” says Conrad. “This means more shared experiences that evolve over time (i.e. world exploration and evolving game areas), more co-creation and peer-to-peer selling/sharing, as seen in the world of fashion, and It leads to more serious professional growth, and when it comes to a small but growing community, we have the ability to put together their plans for the future and partner with brands.”
Dentsu Solutions’ Robin Lau believes the world has emerged from the 2022 Metaverse failure and is ready to redefine and give new meaning to immersive digital experiences in 2023.
“I believe that next year we will see a metaverse (or immersive virtual experience) that showcases the ‘purpose and usefulness’ that many say is missing in 2022. And, This can come in many forms,” says Lau. “Many believe that the future of the metaverse lies in XR (mixed reality), where the digital enhances the experience of reality, as opposed to the VR metaverse. It’s not hard to imagine this becoming available to the masses at
Alvaro Anguita, the initiative’s national head of digital, believes it’s unlikely that there will be a single metaverse. Rather, there are likely to be multiple metaverses, each corresponding to a particular interest or use his case, such as leisure, education, or travel.
“In my opinion, the next frontier for brand activation could be the proposal and development of mixed reality related to the video game industry, as we have seen with popular games such as Fortnite, World of Warcraft and League of Legends. Let’s go,” says Anguita. The future holds many opportunities and, as always, it’s first come, first served. ”
Fucher, Regional Creative Director of VCCP, said brands are looking for new angles and ways to engage, especially with younger audiences already enamored with representing themselves as avatars on social platforms and video games. says it needs to continue.
“We predict that sports and entertainment will experience an evolution in the metaverse, bringing audiences closer to their favorite sports teams and artists,” says Futcher. “And brands will try to find the best way to jump on the bandwagon.”
So it looks like the metaverse marathon will continue. Brands will definitely try and fail. Large tech companies will continue to race to become the preferred access point for a single metaverse. And make no mistake, as always, gaming, the adult industry, and the military will probably show us how it’s done.
“Until then, expect another year of running towards an unknown goal,” Fucher adds. “And lots of avatars without legs.”