The Metaverse is a fast-evolving industry. Innovations and developments in this space are happening rapidly. Onlookers might notice that there is one use case that seems to be gaining traction more than others. Metaverse gaming seems to be gaining traction as an increasing amount of players take interest in games facilitated by this emerging industry.
Gaming in the Metaverse is gaining traction faster than other use cases, with new entrants into the market and traditional gaming companies trying to gain market share.
Many people are wondering why there is so much hype around metaverse gaming. Many want to learn whether this is the future of gaming. This article will try to explain the fate of metaverse gaming, what it could entail, and which platform(s) will take the lead in metaverse gaming. This article is a deep dive into metaverse gaming and will attempt to answer all those questions.
Definition of Metaverse
The Metaverse consists of virtual worlds that connect people remotely within a shared platform or interconnect cross-platforms. It is essential to understand what the Metaverse is to understand the concept behind metaverse gaming.
The Metaverse consists of virtual worlds where people can explore and interact. These virtual worlds have a real-life feel to them as users can have different experiences and interactions; they can own their personal space and use tokens which power an in-world economy. These tokens are often powered through blockchain technology such as Ethereum. These virtual worlds can be in 2D or 3D.
Some popular virtual worlds include Decentraland, The Sandbox, and Meta Horizon Worlds. These virtual worlds allow people to roam around and enjoy experiences like they would in real life. However, many people who have experienced these virtual worlds might realize that these experiences are not too dissimilar to experiences they’ve already had in popular multiplayer games like Grand Theft Auto and Fortnite. So is the Metaverse use case primarily just gaming?
The Metaverse Insider’s Market Map delves deeply into what technologies and sectors make up the Metaverse. While there are many use cases of the Metaverse, gaming stands out as an essential piece of the puzzle, attracting a lot of engagement from gamers and capital from investors.
What is Metaverse Gaming?
Metaverse games can include some (or all) of the following aspects:
- A Multiplayer game allows users to interact with others as they would in a virtual world, e.g. Minecraft and Fortnite.
- A virtual world with an in-game economy that users can trade in the real world, for example, MANA in Decentraland or SAND in the Sandbox.
- Some of these games allow players to earn as they play (Play-to-Earn), e.g. Axie Infinity and Splinterlands.
- A 3D game that players can access through a VR headset like Oculus by Meta. These games are also trendy for people who are looking for fitness-related games.
Let’s go into more detail:
1. Multi-Player Platforms
The origins of Metaverse can be traced back to June 2003 with a game called Second Life. This game was a virtual world – a first of its kind and is often regarded as the first-ever Metaverse Game. This game has a lot of characteristics of a modern metaverse game. Users in Second Life can create an avatar for themselves to interact in a virtual world.
A lot of such Web2 games gained popularity over the years. Shortly after Second Life, games like Club Penguin and Runescape gained popularity. These games had in-game economies and allowed users to interact over the internet. In the 2010s, multiplayer games like Grand Theft Auto and Fortnite, metaverse-type games, gained much popularity. However, aspects that are supposed to be popular within the Metaverse games were still missing in these games – blockchain technology or virtual reality.
While multiplayer games gained popularity over the years, a few things remained constant. Players played games for entertainment, and apart from professional gamers in tournaments, games were played only for leisure. A different model was introduced when a game called CryptoKitties launched in 2017. This game allowed players to breed Kitties (which are NFTs).
These Kitties can be kept as an asset and sold to other users. If you’re interested in the CryptoKitties gaming metaverse, check out the complete evolution of Cryptokitties and Dapper Labs. Eventually, these Web3 games have developed and have given birth to more popular games such as NFL Rivals and Web3 game developers like Gala Games.
3. Mixed Reality
When many people think about the Metaverse, they think of Virtual Reality. Meta has taken a clear lead in Mixed Reality gaming due to their Oculus headsets and investments in virtual reality headsets. The Metaverse Insider has provided an in-depth analysis of Meta’s dominance as a metaverse gaming company. Meta’s Horizon Worlds is the portal or virtual world through which users can access the Metaverse and interact.
There are also many virtual reality games, such as Beat Saber and Pistol Whip, gaining great reviews from players. Games such as Thrill of the Fight have gotten the attention of UFC stars such as Forrest Griffin, who have expressed how great of a workout they get when they play the VR game. Fitness and gaming have rarely been linked together before the adoption of VR technology.
Key Benefits of Metaverse Gaming:
Players and game developers seem to have tremendous interest in Metaverse gaming. Certain unique benefits stand out.
Here are some of the advantages of the metaverse gaming revolution.:
The Play-to-Earn model is attractive to users worldwide. Users can monetize their playing time as they play. However, as Jason Brink, the President of Blockchain at Gala Games, pointed out, these metaverse gaming need to be fun otherwise it will not gain traction from players. Also, for an individual in a country such as the United States or Canada, earning $1 worth of tokens while playing for an extended period may not be an attractive ROI, especially if the game is not enjoyable. These factors seemed to be critical in the recent sharp decline in Axie Infinity’s players.
Virtual Reality has allowed gamers to enjoy games as they stand and fully immerse themselves in the environment. VR technology will enable gamers to move around. Even when playing games that are not meant for fitness, such as Pistol Whip, gamers still move around and lose calories. While there were games previously, such as Adidas micoach, which allowed users to follow along as they exercised, the level of immersion in VR has given a fitness gaming genre a new life.
The concept behind web3, blockchain, and Metaverse is to give users more power. Users should be able to make their own decisions and own their data. This freedom is exactly what new virtual worlds in the Metaverse enable. Users not only hold their “land” in the metaverse platform but also design their own experiences. They can build their own experiences and monetize them as well. Such independence and privilege are very new to the gaming world.
Best Metaverse Gaming Platforms:
The gaming platforms today have embraced the revolution in this industry. Traditional gaming developers and newer Web 3 / metaverse gaming platforms have launched fascinating games that seem to gain a lot of traction. This list analyzes examples of a few metaverse games that are worth exploring, helping us to understand the different types of games that fall under metaverse gaming.
1. Web2 / Multiplayer Games
Web2 games are very much a part of the metaverse gaming ecosystem. These games are the precursor to the virtual worlds called Metaverses.
Minecraft: This is a Low-Fidelity game with no required goals to accomplish. Players can choose how they want to play and what they want to achieve from the game.
Fortnite: This is a popular cross-platform game by Epic Games. This game has led the way for many events which have made news in the metaverse industry. The in-game Travis Scott concert got attention from some of the largest media sources, which concluded that this event was a glimpse into what the Metaverse will look like.
2. Web3 / NFT Games
Web3 games with an independent in-game economy seem to be the least affected by the bear crypto market. This trend shows that the popularity of some of these games is not affected by the financial market – meaning the players are not just there to earn but also to enjoy the games. Perhaps, the decline of users of Axie Infinity has stabilised the industry as game developers focus on delivering quality games rather than just the promise of earning some in-game tokens.
STEPN: The Solana-based Move-to-Earn (similar to Play-to-Earn) game is an NFT mobile game that records the user’s steps. Users can gain NFTs or the Green Satoshi token through walking, jogging, or running.
Gala Games: The Galaverse seems to be the frontrunners in the Web3 gaming revolution as they have it has either launched games or have games in beta which are gaining a lot of interest. Gala Games’ collaboration with Epic Games’ store to expose Gala Games’ projects to a broader audience and collaboration with Unity to launch VOXverse are statements of intent.
3. Mixed Reality Games
While Mixed Reality games are still in their infancy, the potential of this sector looks immense. Meta has demonstrated a fascinating future of mixed reality games in this video. However, as of now, some virtual reality games are starting to get noticed. These games are not only played by conventional gamers as they seem to attract a whole new audience to gaming.
Arizona Sunshine: This game sees players explore a zombie-infested wild west. It is a fascinating immersive experience that moves a user by ‘teleporting’ rather than walking, preventing motion sickness. Games like Arizona Sunshine could also attract players who have played popular shooting games like Call of Duty or Red Dead Redemption.
Moss: This game entails players as small rodents exploring the world and encountering enemies. It is a fascinating story, and a great immersive experience as users gain a unique understanding of navigating adventures through the point of view of a small creature.
Check out the best Metaverse Gaming experiences for July if you are interested in a comprehensive list.
Is it the right time to Jump In?
There’s no right time to jump in. Gamers will start playing NFT/Blockchain games or VR when they are enjoyable.
Multiplayer games have been around for a very long time. These games are enjoyable and have been developed by some of the biggest game developers in the world, including Rockstar Games and Activision Blizzard. However, when people refer to adopting the Metaverse gaming model, it is more about adopting virtual worlds and VR technology.
There are a lot of resources being injected into this market. Examples include Meta offering various resources to VR developers while Venture Capital Funds are investing in virtual worlds like The Sandbox.
In his interview with the Metaverse Insider, here’s an extract from Jason Brink, President of Blockchain at Gala Games, who said:
“Your game has to be fun, or it’s not a game. It might be a job. And maybe that’s okay. But it needs to be a game. And to be a game, It has to be fun! It has to be something that you would play without getting paid. And the reason is that you want a good chunk of your player base to play without getting paid. Or, even better, to play while paying in.” Thus reiterating the point that gamers should not feel the need to play the game or adapt to something which is not fun. It is the responsibility of the developer of the game to find a way to make these gaming experiences attractive, which will drive traffic to their platforms.”
What does the future of Metaverse Gaming look like
The groundwork for a metaverse gaming industry is complete. The masses have adopted multiplayer games; blockchain technology has been embraced, and there are many developments in the VR space.
While we have yet to see a prominent multiplayer game incorporating blockchain technology and VR technology, the stage is set for such games to be adopted.
With so much talent and capital invested in metaverse gaming, there will undoubtedly be substantial improvements in this space. However, with so many variables, the result of the future of gaming in the metaverse is still uncertain yet exciting!
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For related information about the metaverse gaming, check out Top 20 World’s Best Metaverse Games.