Is the metaverse really the latest creative frontier?

With the metaverse emerging as the latest creative industry buzzword, Nick Pringle, SVP executive creative director at R/GA London, examines the opportunities it offers for brands

The Metaverse. Spent much time there recently? If the answer is ‘the Meta-what?’ – read on. The Metaverse is a collection of virtual worlds you explore via an avatar, or simply put: a 3D internet. It’s not a thing of the future; it’s living, breathing, and growing around us right now.

Household names like Roblox and Fornite are most established. However, there are many exciting, currently less mainstream, Metaverses to know: Decentraland, Upland, Sandbox, and soon-to-launch Victory VR. We’re seeing an explosion in creation only equal to the dotcom boom. Many of these mini-Metaverses will no doubt become what Ask Jeeves is to Google but a few will become … Googlish. Seriously – now Zuck has announced that Facebook will become a ‘Metaverse company’, the fight is on. Be under no illusion, a paradigm shift is lurking in the corner, one that will see the entire world move from scrolling to strolling the internet.

The Metaverse acceleration has been supercharged by blockchain technology, NFTs and crypto. These once outsider techs are today being backed by real cash from real world corporations; Sony invested $200million of the $1 billion Epic Games has raised to build out the Metaverse beyond Fortnite. Boson paid $700k for a plot of virtual real estate in Decentraland and is building a shopping mall. Facebook is pouring its piggybank into their Horizon VR game.