Video games play a central role in the creation and expansion of the metaverse world, and gaming platforms are uniquely positioned to influence the metaverse business, said a report titled ‘Metaverse Emerging Business Opportunities’, published by Gamespad, a gaming and metaverse company.
Metaverse is a 3D interactive virtual world built on the principles of Web 3.0 and aims to provide consumers with a 3D entertainment experience. There are many blockchain-based metaverse worlds like Decentraland (MANA), Sandbox (SAND), etc.
“Gaming platforms are uniquely positioned to be incredibly influential in metaverse business opportunities; as technology and computer power rise, the gaming world and deeply engrained user base will be at the forefront of new metaverse exploration,” noted the report.
According to Gary Ongko Putera, CEO and founder of BOOM Esports, an e-sports organisation, the metaverse technology could “completely revolutionise the esports industry with immersive digital experiences. The move to an immersive hybrid model would bring esports fan engagement to completely different levels,” Putera said in the report.
Esports or electronic sports involve individual players or teams competing in a multiplayer video game in an organised way and accomplishing specific predefined tasks. Some popular Esports games include Dota 2, Counterstrike, and Rocket League.
According to Vikram R Singh, founder and CEO, Antier, a blockchain consultancy company, “Gaming is seen as the public’s gateways into the metaverse. The growing Indian gaming industry has the potential to leverage this opportunity to shape the metaverse technology and become a global frontrunner. . The metaverse can open up an infinite number of options. The gaming sector in India and new government rules must work together to permit the early adoption of metaverse.
Growing Gaming Market
According to the Gamespad report, the gaming market is set to grow from the current three billion users to 4.5 billion users by 2030.
Another report titled ‘Road to change value creation in the metaverse,’ published by management consultancy firm McKinsey and Company, said the metaverse’s value could reach $5 trillion by 2030.
The Gamespad report highlighted that US consumers spent an estimated $60.4 billion on gaming from 2010 to 2021, and about 59 per cent of industry experts believe gaming will dominate the virtual reality (VR)-related investments in the next few years.
Role Of Gaming
The report said that the rise in demand for interactive entertainment is a part of a decade-plus-long generational shift boosted by the pandemic. “Gamers traditionally have joined immersive gaming experiences for the content, whether it is esports, events, or others.” However, the report also said that the gaming industry, including how consumers interact or play a game, has changed in the last 20 years.
According to Lokesh Rao, co-founder and CEO, of Trace Network Labs, a lifestyle metaverse company, “The gaming industry is the center of the metaverse. Gaming in the metaverse opens up multiple new opportunities for people who play multiplayer games. With the advent of virtual, augmented or mixed-reality technologies, ‘experience’ will become a prime characteristic for any game and how it engages users within the metaverse.”
Superior Experience: Explaining how consumers could benefit from metaverse-based esports tournaments, Putera said that “consumers, instead of spectating from a view of the player’s screen, can imagine themselves inside the game itself while having the option to move within the environment.”
“The Metaverse makes it possible to virtualize an entire tournament, making the experience even funner,“ added Putera.
“Gaming metaverse or any other metaverse will work closely with brands for product placement, experience stores within the game and open marketplaces that monetize in-game assets. Digital avatars will be very real-looking and give a real-world like experience albeit with enhanced digital gameplay feedback. This will increase the gaming experience of a user,” added Rao.
The Gamepad report noted that gaming has been a critical part of virtual reality since it gives an interactive experience to consumers. It said that “emerging metaverse features like 3D avatars, world-building and observation gameplay will lead the future pathway for gaming.”
Game developers like Epic Games, the creator of the battle game Fortnite, and companies like Meta (formerly Facebook) are trying to build “a connected universe of virtual realities”, and the gaming industry can continue to grow alongside metaverse, the said report.
Economic Incentives: According to Phillip Devine, CEO of CryptoBlades Kingdom, a non-fungible token (NFT)-based metaverse game, game developers today are more focused on economic incentives, and it is “rapidly becoming the most important feature for metaverse gaming projects”.
Devine further added that monetising games is keeping players interested and invested, and it is the decentralised finance (DeFi) making all that possible.
Ease: Consumers don’t need to buy expensive hardware, consoles, or devices in cloud-based games, the main USP of cloud-based games. The game is loaded and streamed directly from a remote server to the consumers’ device. Some examples of cloud games include Google Stadia, and Amazon’s Luna.
According to Gamespad, “metaverse gaming is an important feature of cloud-based gaming.” Some dedicated gaming companies are helping gamers earn money in cloud-based metaverse games.
According to Vineet Budki, managing partner and CEO, Cypher Capital, a Dubai based venture capitalist, “Our thesis is that the adoption of the Metaverse will evolve from Gaming. We believe, it will be driven by hardware innovation more than software. Current versions of Virtual Reality hardware are not ready for the next generation of gaming Metaverses.”
For instance, the report said that Admix, a monetisation solution for games, recently raised $25 million to boost in-game monetisation efforts in its metaverse world.
Future Of Gaming
The Gamespad report has also highlighted the evolution of the gaming industry. The launch of Oculus Rift VR headset in 2020 provided a new immersive gaming experience to consumers. Thus, metaverse aims to leverage VR and other related technology as its evolution continues.
Devine of CryptoBlades Kingdom said that “As we see more gaming projects expand and utilise technology like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), we will also notice that metaverse games will have incentive structures that allow players to earn real-world income.”
“We are seeing GameFi, but not true Metaverse games at this stage. To reach the level of the Metaverse, we need more immersive news in the games sector,” added Budki.
“One of the main issues facing the Indian metaverse and gaming industries is the shortage of personnel and expertise needed for chip manufacturing and animation, visual effects, gaming and comic (AVGC) developments. It might take some time for the metaverse to realise its full potential, but once it does, it might be a goldmine for new business ventures,” added Singh.
According to Rao, “Future gaming metaverses may also decentralize gameplay, which means the users will have a say in how the game progresses. Decentralized gaming organisations will enable users to vote for how the story goes forward, or how a game asset needs to be valued in the market, or even in the design of gaming NFTs. Furthermore, users who acquire an original NFT in the game can earn a continuous royalty on that NFT in the open market.”