Analysts from Newzoo have published a detailed guide on metaverses. They are still arguing about what it is, but analysts believe that they will change the game design, economy and content of video games. As a result, the games-services that are familiar today will turn into platform games designed for the socialization of users and the integration of brands into them.Definition and main features of the metaverse

Roblox is most often cited as an example of a metaverse.

This is a global platform that is both a social MMO and a game designer. Major brands interact with it, and users constantly create new content and earn serious money from it. And it is with an eye on Roblox that many experts formulate this new concept.

Jonathan Lai, a partner at the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, defines the metaverse as “a permanent, infinitely scalable virtual space with its own economy and identification system.”

Tim Sweeney, the head of Epic Games, has his own definition of this term: “A social, real-time 3D environment in which people can create and be equal participants in an economy that influences society.”

Venture capitalist Matthew Ball identifies seven distinctive features of the metaverse, including the presence of an infinite cycle, a fully functioning economy and user-generated content. Read more about these characteristics in our material.

Metaverse ecosystemNewzoo notes that the game metaverse can be determined by the presence of six main elements:

  • new social ways of interacting within the game that also change user behavior;innovations in content delivery, technology and game design — including the growing role of UGC;
  • the growing popularity of NFT and the concept of “permanent digital ownership”;
  • merging different game worlds and IP;
  • the growing importance of in-game self-identification and customization;
  • merging digital and real worlds.
  • According to analysts, the development of this concept can give companies new opportunities for monetization, as well as increase retention and other metrics.

This is due to the fact that metaverses expand the gaming experience, give users a new motivation to play, open new earning channels and business models, and attract a new audience.

Why are metaverses so important to the gaming industry today?Newzoo notes that the development of this concept signals the transition from games-services (Games-as-a-service) to games-platforms (Games-as-a-platform).

Over the past decade, gaming has evolved into a comprehensive experience that includes playing, viewing content, and interacting with other users. In this context, metaverses are the next step towards creating a new non—gaming experience.

Games are turning into platforms where different users and individual companies can create content and benefit from it outside of the main product. That is why publishers today hold virtual concerts and fashion shows in their projects, integrate third-party IP into them and enter into partnerships with other brands.

At the same time, players use platform games as a place for self-expression. They create their own projects, interact with other users and organize joint events.

At the heart of any metaverse is the game itself. However, in this case, it turns into a cross-media project, overgrown with additional elements:

  • games-services (seasons, battle passes, DLC, subscriptions);competitive gaming (esports, online events, tournaments);
  • community games (streams, bloggers, forum users, mod creators, etc.);
  • franchise games (movies, TV series, merchandise and other products based on the main game);
  • platform games (non-gaming experience, social platforms, UGC games).
  • Metaverse device

How will the metaverse concept change future games?

Game design.

  • In addition to the usual single-player and online modes, metaverses will offer users opportunities for creative and social interaction outside of core gameplay.Content.
  • The community plays an important role in the development of metaverses, and therefore in such projects there will be more and more elements tied to artificial intelligence that simplify the creation of UGC content inside games.Business models.
  • Metaverses will open up new economic opportunities for companies and users. Among them are virtual events, NFT, as well as concepts such as play-to-earn (play-to-earn) and play-to-collect (play-to-collect).Marketing.
  • Metaverses will lead to the growth of native advertising integrations in games. Companies will be able to integrate their brands into them, attract influencers and promote their own IP with the help of gaming platforms.Today, more and more companies are talking about the importance of creating their own metaverses.

The other day, Mark Zuckerberg announced about working on this concept in the framework of Facebook. The company wants to create new opportunities for socialization by combining the real and virtual worlds. For this purpose, a separate team was organized on Facebook, which will deal with this direction.

Of the latest examples of the transformation of games into platforms, we can recall the announcement of Assassin’s Creed Infinity. Little is known about the project now, but it will be a large-scale online platform with many years of support and regularly released new content.