Seen as the next big step in the evolution of the Internet and digital technology, the metaverse is attracting more and more players who want to get their share of this new development horizon.
Metavers is a term that is just beginning to enter our vocabulary. However, it is already the talk of the town, as a new digital Eldorado for digital companies and start-ups, with almost infinite possibilities. More and more players are entering this field, which, thanks to virtual and augmented reality in particular, makes it possible to multiply human interaction by freeing themselves from physical constraints.
Facebook is already one step ahead of its potential competitors. The company founded by Mark Zuckerberg has also opted for a new name, Meta, a subtle reference to its new strategic priority. Start-ups and even video games such as Roblox and Fortnite have been quick to jump on the bandwagon. “There are likely to be several metavers, a multitude of experiences available at several points,” says Nicolas Reffait, partner in charge of media at BearingPoint. “It’s not the way things are supposed to be if there is only one metaverse that carries all the experiences. By its very nature, we cannot imagine that it can be owned“.
Facebook’s ambition is to establish itself as the creator of a universal digital reference space, as the search engine Google was in its day. To achieve this, the group plans to invest several tens of billions of dollars each year in the project and to hire 10,000 people in Europe within five years.
Other companies have followed suit and are embarking on the metaverse adventure in their own way. Microsoft aims to develop “Mesh“, a new feature in the Teams software that will allow people to appear as personalised avatars instead of activating the video during 2022. Nvidia, the processor champion, has already launched “Omniverse“, which will allow teams to collaborate in real time in a shared virtual space.
Video games are also trying to take advantage of this new digital development opportunity. Fortnite and Minecraft had already taken advantage of the pandemic to become entertainment platforms where players could lead a social life in parallel to reality, to the point of upsetting the hegemony of social networks. Fortnite and its publisher Epic Games are among the most advanced, and have already offered virtual concerts by Travis Scott or Zara Larsson followed by tens of millions of people. “This is an incredible opportunity to connect with a younger audience. It’s really the future,” said the Swedish pop singer.
The latest force trying to expand into the metaverse is start-ups. In South Korea, for example, a coalition of start-ups and public institutions has been formed under the leadership of the Ministry of Science to avoid “dependency on transnational players“. This coalition, called the “Metaverse Alliance“, brings together more than two hundred companies alongside champions such as Samsung.
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