Over the past few months, there has been an incredible push towards the metaverse and what it could help companies and brands to achieve. Everyone seems interested in exploring this new frontier and being the first to break into it.
Currently, the most popular metaverse concepts appear to be coming from some of the largest brands in the world. However, while this concept could help different industries in many ways, the gaming space appears to need it more than most.
Gaming is Back and Batter
Games are all the rage right now. For a few years, there has been a significant rise in the value of the global gaming industry. Interactive and immersive gaming experiences make all the difference as players appreciate the opportunity to battle it out with each other and assert dominance on different levels.
While traditional gaming companies are still doing pretty well, the upstarts are definitely the most exciting. Fortnite, Apex Legends and many more are famous for their style of play - getting multiple people to come into a virtual world and battle it out.
This battle royale playing format is great because it offers a simple and direct style of play - come in, boost your arsenal as much as possible and battle with everyone around for the opportunity to win some rewards or the other.
Pivoting into Something Else
Interestingly, however, many of these games don't just focus on the gameplay routine alone - many of them are now pivoting towards entertainment experiences. The perfect example of this is Fortnite. In December 2019, the game hosted a virtual Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker event where players got to see some snippets of the highly popular movie and even partied with an avatar of director J.J. Abrams.
While the reviews for the event were pretty mixed, it was obvious that Fortnite was on to something. The company has doubled down since then, hosting a bevy of virtual concerts - including an incredible show with rapper Travis Scott that hit 45 million viewers. In April 2020, Fortnite even launched Party Royale - a different island with no fights where players could host virtual events and enjoy themselves.
Fortnite is definitely not the only company to toe this path. Other multiplayer online games like Minecraft and Roblox have also been exploring the opportunity of becoming destinations for virtual events where players can socialize and interact. Lil Nas X, another rapper, recently hosted a live event on Roblox that drew in 33 million people.
All of these events appear to be signaling the arrival of the metaverse - a sprawling, expansive virtual space where users can create, explore and interact seamlessly. Suddenly, these multiplayer online games which seemed like the pinnacle of virtual representation now feel like prototypes of the real thing - which, for now, no one really knows what it is.
There is no doubt that gaming companies are already exploring the metaverse. Roblox is moving quickly into that space, and we recently saw the introduction of Axes Metaverse - a blockchain-based virtual reality game developed by Azur Games. But, it is worth understanding what the metaverse does for these companies and how they could benefit from it - especially from an entertainment standpoint.
Exploration is the First Key Thing
As it usually is with these games, exploration is the most important factor that the metaverse brings. One of the most important trends that have been noticed among the Gen Z members is their love for exploration and new experiences. They would rather explore a new and interesting world than sit at home scrolling through their social media feed. Something about having a bold new world where they’re free to do anything appeals more to them.
So, gaming companies that can implement their version of the metaverse with endless opportunities will be the ones to attract the most people. Considering the competition already in the industry, it is possible that any company that gains a first-mover advantage will be the one to hold its customers the most.
Much Better Storytelling
Regardless of its format, the basis of every great content is an equally impressive story. With their deep interactive nature and immersion, metaverses make it even better for brands to tell stories. Narratives can be gamified and transformed to build affinity, with viewers now able to become spectators and participants in the content they see - instead of just consuming it passively.
This allows brands and gaming companies to build emotional connections with their players - something that keeps these players always coming back. With the metaverse, brands can finally bring entertainment experiences and content together.
With the metaverse, brands can create interesting worlds where people want to live and stay. These environments try to replicate real-life experiences, which visitors can relate to even as they explore more.
The metaverse also has world-building potential, which presents a marketing opportunity for many brands. Visitors’ digital avatars can be more immersed in their experiences, also allowing them to build that important emotional connection to some of the things they love.
An Opportunity to be Creative
Finally, the metaverse will also allow fans to create their narratives with the existing products. We’ve all seen the rise of fan edits to popular stories and fanfiction coming to life. With the metaverse being an open world, participants will be able to create their own stories and characters, thus expanding the current universe that will be available.