The metaverse is still far away from a fully formed concept. At the time of writing, it remains a buzz word fueling the era of blockchain technology and innovation inspiration. Thought leaders, futurists and many venture capitalists are betting on this concept. DarePlay would love to dissect this topic further, starting off with the metaverse game industry in today’s article.
Table of Contents
Various Concepts Of The Metaverse & Influence
Amongst all forth thinking minds, there is Mark Zuckerberg, Meta CEO/ Facebook CEO who is bullish on the future of metaverse. By the ambition of syncing NFT and blockchain technology in all Meta platforms and enhancing user interface techniques, Meta is recently showcasing their metaverse aspiration. Microsoft could not resist to not hop on this metaverse bandwagon neither. They have viewed the metaverse as the educational technology, defining the metaverse as virtual space for training workshops, a place to share knowledge and expertise.
Along side big tech giants like Meta and Microsoft, notable venture capitalists such as Animoca Brands, a16z, Coinbase ventures, Shima Capital…have also embraced web3 and the concept of the metaverse by pouring their money, and investing in this aspect.
Taking a look at the web3 investment picture analyzed in the first half of 2022, according to Cointelegraph.
And here is the latest analysis on the metaverse investment from DappRadar.
Of venture capitalists who are bullish on the metaverse, Animoca Brands stand out and deserve to be the leader in the battleground. Their motto is to “advance digital property rights for an open metaverse”. Animoca Brand has transformed itself from a former mobile game company into the present A powerhouse for an Open metaverse. They have successfully raised funds for their operation and maintain the position as a dominant player in the hurdle of building the metaverse and producing the game-changing metaverse game.
To quickly summarize the investment that Animoca Brands raised, we list them as follows:
- In January, 2022, Animoca Brands raised $360 million, valuing it at $5.4 billion.
- In July, 2022, A fund of $75 million was raised by Animoca in a round that was led by investors such as Liberty City Ventures, 10T and Kingsway Capital.
- In 8th September, 2022, Animoca Brands announced it has closed a strategic funding round for US$110 million (approximately A$159 million) from Temasek – a Singapore’s state investment firm and the world’s largest investor, Boyu Capital, and GGV Capital, as well as existing investors Mirae Asset Management and True Global Ventures (TGV). The fund is to facilitate the development of an open metaverse.
A $748M fund was raised by blockchain games and the metaverse game projects in August 2022, according to the pie chart analyzed by Dappradar, The number was a 135% increase from last month, but still a 16% decrease from June.
Noticeably, in August, there was an investment of $200 million, 27% of the total investments in GameFi and the metaverse game projects, raised by Gabriel Leydon, the founder and former CEO of Machine Zone, the mobile gaming studio behind Game of War and Mobile Strike. The $200M fund is for Gabriel Leydon’s new blockchain start-up called Limit Break and for his format of Free-to-Own in its first Free-mint NFT collection called Digidaigaku.
Also according to DappRadar, the metaverse game sector is making up over a half of blockchain industry usage, accounting for around 51% unique active wallets. Though as compared to the previous month, the number of unique active wallets went down by over 6%. However, the number is still a good indicator for the blockchain gaming industry or the metaverse game industry to be exact.
Definition of a metaverse game
While the metaverse is still a vague term to most people, believers and builders are, with all effort, trying to co-create and collectively build up their dream world – the metaverse together.
What is the metaverse?
The metaverse is defined as a natural extension of the internet, or as Mark Zuckerberg defined, the future of the internet. It is also referred to as a virtual place where people interact with each other, and are able to buy and sell goods.
The metaverse is sonetimes defined as an alternate reality, a cyberspace where human-computer interaction occurs at the lightspeed. All over the digital media, the metaverse is praised as bringing a promising and brighter future for all – a decentralized and permissionless world. In the metaverse, the virtual world built with the blockchain technology, computing does funtion as a verification tool, providing transparency and trust among its users.
Recently, we also have a somewhat “official” definition of the term “metaverse”, defined by Merriam Webster dictionary as follows:
metaverse : a persistent virtual environment that allows access to and interoperability of multiple individual virtual realities
Example: To its proponents, the metaverse is the natural evolution of the internet. They envisage a sprawling network of interconnected virtual worlds for such diverse activities as gaming, watching live entertainment, … and collaborating on design projects.
— Edd Gent
All in all, the metaverse is a virtual reality (VR) – a persistent virtual world which does exist even when there is no one engaged in that world. It is sometimes an augmented reality (AR) that combines aspects of both the digital and physical worlds.
However, the metaverse is not confined to VR or AR environments only. Any virtual world that can be accessed through PCs, game consoles, and even phones have started referring to themselves as “the metaverse.”
DarePlay research also dive deep into the metaverse and its definition in a separate article, please take your time to read it out and get a more elaborated understanding of the metaverse.
Because of the vague definition of the metaverse, many companies and advocates who jump on the metaverse bandwagon are merely in the exploring phase. Most of them are envisioning new models of digital economy based on the concept in the forming – the metaverse.
Of all these models being cultivated by the metaverse maximalists and futurists, the metaverse game business seems to be the most feasible one with an awful lot of implications. The metaverse game is even considered as a gateway or an entry to the massive metaverse world.
What is a metaverse game?
A metaverse game is often conceived as an economically fertile environment where players play an economic game, trading, buying and selling in-game assets using cryptocurrencies.
In a metaverse game, immersion, persistence and interactivity are the three main characteristics.
A metaverse game is a virtual world where players hop in via Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality or Mixed Reality headsets. They get immersed in a world where things happen continuously without interruption and pauses.
The overall metaverse game market situation
In the recent report of the “Metaverse Games Market”, analyzed by the MarketWatch, it is expected that the global gamefi market size will reach multi million by 2026, in comparison to 2022.
The metaverse game market is growing. Top games are thriving regardless of market situation. Though experiencing a down month as the category’s trading volume decreased to $22 million in August 2022, metaverse game projects enjoyed a significant increase of 38.6% in sales, showcasing the great demand for this type of game.
There are some critical data collected from DappRadar as follows:
- Web3 games and the metaverse game projects have raised over $750 million since August 1st.
- Axie Infinity, a leading metaverse game, has recently consolidated its on-chain player, and announced garnering around 36k level daily wallets. Earlier this month, Axie Infinity’s NFT collection also recorded $4.24 billion in sales, followed by CryptoPunks with $2.92 billion.
- The total trading volume of Worldwide Webb Land, a 2D metaverse game, inspired by Steven Spielberg’s movie called Ready Player One, increased by 87.12% to more than half a million.
- In just two weeks, Trickshot Blitz, the new Flow-based game, has appealed to over 400,000 unique active wallets (UAW), processing 4.6 million transactions.
- Splinterlands has recovered for three consecutive months after revamping the game’s economy last June.
- At the time The Sandbox opens its Alpha Season 3, the game has four millions users using its wallet. This figure is two times higher than the data from March when the game releases its Alpha Season 2.
What are the biggest differences between a metaverse game and a traditional video game?
It’s said that “a metaverse game” is a game concept which encompasses a traditional video game. Overall, a video game and a metaverse game have many similarities.
The following points are the similarities between an internet video game and a metaverse nft game:
Avatar or virtual characters who we role play while playing a certain video game or a metaverse game.
Objectives, in-game assets that we are set to acquire. They could be a particular piece of armor, a type of equipment, or a horse…etc.
Virtual surrounding environments such as cities, homes or imaginary places where the characters interact with.
Both a video game and a metaverse game have one characteristic in common, which is the virtual environments they create are both persistent. Things in the virtual world of a metaverse game and an internet video game happens in real-time, continuously to exist regardless of the participation of players.
Despite the abovementioned similarities, a video game and a metaverse game also have distinctive features which clearly set them apart from each other. Check the list below and figure out the major differences between these two type of games:
A metaverse game may have an expensive barrier to entry, while a normal video game does not require it. Traditional video games are free to play and offer in-game options to spend fiat currency if desired. In contrast, to enter Meta’s Horizon Worlds, on the other hand, players must purchase a $300 Oculus headset from Meta, which is a costly entry to a majority of players.
A traditional video game does not require players to own a crypto wallet while that is one of the essential requirements in a metaverse game. In Decentraland, a metaverse game, all players need a crypto wallet in order to purchase the game’s ERC20 token, and get the full experience.
Future of the metaverse game industry
Since the metaverse is still a concept in the making, the metaverse game industry is in its infancy as well.
To evolve from what exists at the moment to the next level, it is necessary that big tech companies such as Microsoft, Google, Meta and Epic Games learn to work together and pull out what really benefits players as the immersive metaverse promises.
The term metaverse has been around for a long time, and big tech companies are putting their effort into realizing it. However, the big picture is somehow fragmented due to the lack of co-creating.
Meta may envision the metaverse as the world where people socialize and make friends, while Microsoft imagines it as a place for work and people go there for meeting, training and stuff like that. Whereas, the metaverse game projects believe metaverse is for recreation. All these mini metaverses exist separately and that’s really a problem to be solved out.
Additionally, any parties which are involved in the making of the virtual gaming industry must learn to develop with integration in mind. By doing so, a united immersive metaverse game can be created to truly bring out the best experience, and add real value to the players.
Where the metaverse game industry is going from here remains to be seen. In the meantime, traditional video games will stay the course and continue to offer the immersive and interactive experience to its players.
What do you need to play a metaverse game?
To play a metaverse game, you need the following things:
Firstly, you need a reliable internet connection which allows you to enter the metaverse world – a natural extension of the internet.
Secondly, you need a virtual reality headset. It can be any type from Google Cardboard, which makes use of your smartphone and a cardboard viewer, to headsets connected to a PC such as Valve, Sony, HTC, and HP or console and wireless units (Oculus Quest).
Thirdly, you need PCs or mobile devices which connect with your headsets.
Finally, you need a crypto wallet since it’s the only way to log in the web3 metaverse game.
Besides all the abovementioned things, make sure to put under your seatbelt a little knowledge about blockchain technology, and cryptocurrency.
Top 5 metaverse games you could try
The Sandbox is a metaverse game which offers both Play-to-Earn and Free-to-Play experience. Players joining the game can enjoy exploring the world in the Sandbox without initial investment.
Players first log in with their crypto wallets, create an account and an avatar to start their journey. You are free to choose the color of skin for your avatar, clothes and stuff.
Enter the world of The Sandbox, you will enter an engaging user-generated content game where you are the one who builds up the city where you live in. Together with other players, you all build up a virtual world inside The Sandbox.
Land is a unique unit in The Sandbox. Owning a parcel of Land grants you access to full experience in this world You can even offer your land for leasing at your own wish.
Promoted as the first ever virtual world owned by its users, Decentraland is an online game that enables users to explore a truly decentralized virtual world within the confines of the game.
Players can quickly and easily navigate from the game’s website into the actual game without ever leaving your browser. In addition to Firefox, Decentraland may presently be played on any Chromium-based browser.
A Guest Mode for users without a crypto wallet is to attract gamers who are not familiar with the blockchain technology. It’s a stripped-down version of the game that allows users to browse the numerous worlds that have been created so far. However, this version does disable users access to its different creative toolkits.
Of course, players can choose to download a desktop program to play the game instead. You may also use a VR headset to really immerse yourself in the game, similar to most other metaverse games.
Alien Worlds is a blockchain-based metaverse game. The game is currently available on multiple blockchains such as WAX, Binance Smart Chain (BSC) and Ethereum (ETH).
Alien Worlds was developed and co-founded by two veterans from a gaint tech company specialized in the EOS blockchain. They are Sarojini McKenna and Michael Yeates, both of whom used to work for.
The Alien Worlds is governed by NFTs and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). Entering the Alien World, players take on a mission to travel to different worlds and mine Trilium (TLM).
Trilium (TLM) is the Alien Worlds’ utility token and it is also a multi-chain token. Players can stake TLM in order to participate in the governance — aka the planet council in this metaverse game. The larger number of players who stake their TLM on the planets, the bigger the reward pool will be, which does mean that the more financial benefits participants can gain.
Axie Infinity is one of the most popular metaverse NFT games. The game has features of a strategy game where players take turns to play, and apply their own formula to win over others.
Axie Infinity, run by Ethereum-based blockchain and deploys a Play-to-Earn feature where players can monetize their recreation time and earn an income.
Axie Infinity can also be considered as a crypto-meets-Pokémon game in which a squad of NFT adorable animals called “Axie ” combat each other to earn rewards.
Real-world incentives like AXS and SLP tokens are what players attain for combating and completing daily quests. The tokens can either be exchanged for money or used in Axie trading in the Axie Marketplace.
Illuvium is an upcoming blockchain metaverse game that takes place in an open-world, with RPG setting.
Illuvium players when entering the game will be on the mission of catching Illuvials. For your information, Illuvials are Illuvium’s in-game creatures; each has a class and affinity. There are five classes and five affinities, each of which has certain advantages and disadvantages.
Players’ Illuvials gain strength as they defeat other players in combat and complete in-game quests.
ILV (Illuvium) and sILV are the two ERC-20 project tokens that Illuvium has on Ethereum.
Illuvium is currently in development, aiming to release the game in 2022. After making an account, the Illuvium players will be made accessible for download as a desktop program. Both a free-to-play option and paid subscriptions will be available.
All in all, this industry is still in the early stages of development. Though we have a plethora of games tagged as “metaverse” out there, few of them can really bring out a sense of the anticipated metaverse.
To really give an immersive experience of the metaverse, big tech, software companies and prolific metaverse game studios have to learn how to work together. Builders have to build with the possibility of integration in mind.
The prevailing problem at the moment as what we observe is that the metaverse game industry is growing but it grows apart from each other. Each game has its own mini-metaverse. The possibility to teleport from one game to another is pretty limited or even impossible.
Once again, where the metaverse game industry is going from here remains to be seen. And whether the whole industry really leverages the concept of the metaverse, becoming an integral part of this virtual world or not depends largely on the collective efforts of big companies and builders with an open mind for integration.
The Dareplay.io research team continues to dive into this topic. More articles will be released overtime, follow us to get yourself in tuned.