2022 is tipped to be an important year in defining the next revolution of Web 3.0 and metaverse
The fluidity and expanse of the term ‘Metaverse’ is fun for some and baffling for many. While ‘Web 3.0’ is relatively better understood through analogy, it remains a challenging business and ownership model that many are looking to validate, almost too quickly. Regardless, the ‘revolution’ is at our front door, and with the backdrop of the global economy, 2022 will be an important year for people in this space.
Easing audiences in the new medium
2022 will host many announcements across new use cases, business models, upgrades in gamification, metaverse engines, the evolution of NFTs, new forms of communities, immersive brand marketing, and advertising. We will also witness further participation of major brands, both in collaboration and standalone. As we dive deeper, we should keep in mind that progress compounds with time. We overestimate the impact of technology in the short term and underestimate its effects in the long run.
We should start seeing the first crop of metaverse creators enrolling onto different platforms. While some will invite their existing audience, others will onboard a new set of audiences. The reception is likely to be polarizing. A lot of content will be new packaging of existing video-centric content, but not without reason - audiences will be eased into the new medium. However, there are sure to be some interesting and interactive cases that will let audiences be part of the content.
Games and Gamification
Games and Gamification will be the centerpiece of many announcements. ‘Play to earn’, ‘play to win’, and other forms of instant gratification for audiences will become commonplace, which will make curation and branding increasingly important. Corporations and even public institutions will attempt gamifying and virtualizing everything in the spirit of creativity, experimentation, and embracing the future. Unfortunately, several of these are destined to be sub-par as we business managers tend to get in the way of fun. After this learning curve, however, the executives turned entrepreneurs will find themselves in the spotlight.
Regardless, the idea of making routine interactions more fun will prevail – and the interactive aspect will help a few corporations reclaim the lost customer-journey touchpoint when they first went digital.
Digital economic designers will become increasingly important, as the variables of any market in a gamified metaverse with or without a web 3.0 structure will need to mirror the complexities of a real economy, especially at scale as we have seen from famous games struggling to balance those.
NFTs and the future
The notoriety of NFTs will evolve. The legal acknowledgment as being separate from cryptocurrencies will help generate more ideas. NFTs being programmable assets (and not just photos) allow them to offer multiple use cases with time. 3D items, land plots, game characters, yet another tray of emoticons, will just be the first wave. The ones that will make the news will be NFT giveaways – as their frequency and volumes will rise to match or even exceed those which are sold. Many will realize that NFTs are not always for profiteering but easier to position as an engagement and community-building tool. Collectibles, souvenirs, and access passes will be offered as NFTs (most via airdrops) and will likely work; with an increasing number who will offer utilities to add tangible appeal. This will certainly be a great year for blockchain wallets.
Collaborations and consolidations
Consolidation and alliances of companies in the space will increase, in which companies will follow challenging market conditions. While collaboration has always been a characteristic of the web3 space, several promising but under-funded projects will roll into already-funded ones. Major alliances on metaverse development have already been formed, and now firms will have to choose between the camp they want to be on - big tech or challengers.
Improving tech driving change
On the technology front, it will continue to be ever evolving as it always has been. Chains will get faster, more reliable, less energy consuming, and interlinked with one another – which will create the kind of reliable base for web3 infrastructure, smart contract applicability, NFT (or other assets) transfers, applications, and metaverse design. Several metaverses will exist without web3 and web3 applications for businesses will emerge.
Beyond the ones enumerated above, there are other more subtle trends that are emerging within communities, projects, DAOs, and organizations, but the ones most eye-catching will be new devices, motion tracking, avatars, and beautiful content.
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