Futurists imagine that eventually, the “real” and “meta” world will blend into one, just as our online activities often bleed into our daily lives. Just as there were skeptics during the early days of the internet, however, there are some who, perhaps rightly, see the metaverse as a fad that won’t last.

Nevertheless, McKinsey sees several reasons talk of the metaverse is not going anywhere:

● Tech advancements: Technology still has some catching up to do in order for the full vision of the metaverse to become reality. However, technology also seen revolutionising the real estate industry, such as 5G plus edge and cloud computing, are also being used to make accessing the metaverse possible on almost any device.

● Major investments: With Meta expecting to spend roughly $60 billion over the next five years developing its metaverse platform, one of the world’s biggest companies is betting the farm that the idea will remain relevant. Other companies such as Nvidia and its “Omniverse”, as well as metaverse-friendly updates from game engine companies like Unity, speak to the longevity of the concept.

● Multiple use cases: while gamers are already used to playing together in immersive environments, we are now beginning to see metaverse use for consumer cases too. Everything from entertainment, sports, shopping, ordering food, real estate, and education has now dipped its toe into the metaverse space.

● Online commerce growth area: the virtual goods economy (cosmetics, game boosts, extra content) already make up 40% of the global gaming industry’s revenue which was last valued at over $420 billion. Leveraging cryptocurrency and payment methods already built into our devices, it’s expected the metaverse will do the same for other industries, allowing physical purchases to inhibit the metaverse, and purchases made in the metaverse to connect with the real world.

● Influence/consumer-led compatible: Consumer trends towards influencers and content creators are very much metaverse compatible where barriers between engagement with audiences are brought to a minimum.

● Gen Z tailwind: Perhaps most significantly, by the time the metaverse is fully realised, a healthy proportion of the population will have grown up being comfortable interacting and inhabiting virtual worlds. Gen Z and younger consumers will have grown up playing games such as Minecraft, Fortnite, Roblox and a wealth of other virtual worlds, interacting with friends using personal avatars and making purchases of virtual goods too.

Do check out our last article about How the metaverse could revolutionise marketing strategies