The metaverse remains as intangible as a virtual object from the real world, and expert opinions range from an exaggerated bubble of hype to the direction of the digital future par excellence. The idea is now better known, at the latest thanks to Facebook’s rebranding to Meta and the company’s corresponding plans. Metaverse aims to unify the virtual and physical world using appropriate augmented and virtual devices. Users should be able to work there using a self-created avatar, meet friends, shop and experience events, among other things.
Metaverse plans from Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta and Microsoft
Service providers can earn money in the Metaverse through games, advertising, e-commerce, e-learning and e-health, among other things — or by using their payment method cryptocurrencies. The first companies are already working somewhat covertly on business models related to the Metaverse: according to finanzen.net, Amazon is looking for game developers, Google and Apple are developing headsets for augmented reality, and Microsoft wants to implement digital team meetings with avatars with Project not. Meta has also launched a digital conference room beta with Horizon Workrooms.
ibusiness offers more possible business models.
Games and Advertising in Metaverse
Online games like Fortnite can serve as a model for business models in the Metaverse. Not only can there be special game shows in the Metaverse – advertising companies can build their products and brands in these games. Example: In Fortnite, a real Ferrari 296 GTB drives through the game world.
In the Roblox gaming platform, users can create their own PC games and play them with other users. For example, the manufacturer of sneakers Vans offers a virtual skate park there – and such offers will also be attractive in the Metaverse.
Trade Metaverse: Virtual Goods and Contracts
Of course, trading with daily virtual products will also be possible – does e-commerce become a reverse trade? The palette ranges from the previously mentioned virtual plots to the appearance of an individual’s avatar to fan articles and branded merchandise in the company’s merchandise stores. Some brands like Ralph Lauren or Nike are already represented on the current platforms, and the NFL has an official permanent store of fan merchandise on Roblox.
Virtual Banking and Finance
There are also models for potential forms of payment and currencies in the Metaverse: US bank JP Morgan, for example, has its own branch in the 3D Decentraland platform, which was launched in 2020. Users of the platform can purchase virtual properties with so-called non-fungible tokens – Digital trusted certificates. Cryptocurrency can also be used as a method of payment in the Metaverse.
Metaverse: hype or the future?
“Tech groups in particular are currently investing heavily in the development of the Metaverse, because platform operators can also create profitable business models here,” Professor Sabine Baumann from the Jade University of Applied Sciences Wilhelmshaven explains at idw-online.de. She is an expert in digital business models and sees the potential of Metaverse – if it offers a clear added value compared to real world applications.
Although projects similar to Second Life have failed thus far, many generations are now familiar with the virtual worlds of computer games, which are essentially the metaverses themselves. “Tech companies prepare to share claims in the Metaverse, gold rush sentiment is spreading. Technologies still pose significant challenges, but it is not yet clear how successful business models can be designed in the metaverse.”