The future of metaverse is rosy despite recent headlines claiming that “metaverse-hype” is dying down, said Bain & Company recently.
The metaverse could reach up to US$900 billion by 2030, though it may remain in the seed stage for at least another five to 10 years, the firm added.
Bain’s report, Taking the Hyperbole Out of the Metaverse, concludes that the metaverse poses real and growing economic opportunities for businesses.
Companies that engage in the metaverse’s early stages of development, known as the “seed stage,” over the next five to 10 years, are more likely to become the market winners, Bain estimated.
“As the metaverse quickly evolves, we’ve already seen these types of technologies take hold within different industries,” said Chris Johnson, a partner in Bain’s Technology practice. “A good example of this is immersive gaming platforms, which are already boasting hundreds of millions of monthly active users.”
While it’s not immediately clear how the future of metaverse landscape might change, Bain said its research shows there are five competitive battlegrounds that executives should be considering if they wish to get ahead and eventually scale.
This is an ongoing journey toward more immersive and collaborative experiences, enabled by rapid improvements in the underlying technology, Johnson noted.
Future of metaverse will be plural like it is now
As consumer and enterprise applications become increasingly immersive and collaborative, Bain’s report finds it’s unlikely that the metaverse will emerge as one singular platform.
Instead, platforms with large user bases today may take steps to become increasingly immersive and engaging, while smaller, metaverse-like environments will try to attract bigger user bases, Bain said.
These virtual worlds are likely to remain independent silos as private companies seek to recoup their investments by leveraging the value of the underlying data sets, Bain pointed out.
Industries that have since exhibited the use of metaverse-type technologies include but are not limited to: entertainment, manufacturing, healthcare, education and employee training, according to the firm.
Five key competitive battlegrounds
According to Bain, there are five key competitive battlegrounds that executives should consider if they want to gain market share in the future of metaverse.
Virtual experiences (forecast by Bain to be about 65% of metaverse projected market size in 2030). Although gaming is currently the leading consumer metaverse application, immersive fitness and entertainment could also be compelling in the medium term.
On the enterprise side, innovative use cases are emerging, primarily in collaboration and productivity, but also in digital marketing, employee training, education, and healthcare.
Content-creation tools (about 5% of metaverse market size in 2030). There’s a growing field of software tools that provide the building blocks, editing platforms, and interfaces for creating metaverse worlds and experiences.
These features make it easy for users to generate content.
App stores and operating systems (about 10% of metaverse market size in 2030). The app store role will be crucial during the metaverse’s seed stage, providing users with curated, high-quality experiences to keep them engaged with the platform and headset they use to access the metaverse.
Devices (about 10% of metaverse market size in 2030). Significant technological barriers must be overcome before the arrival of comfortable, stand-alone devices that allow for truly immersive experiences.
To achieve mass adoption, metaverse content will need to work across all types of devices- including, for the foreseeable future, personal computers, gaming consoles and smartphones.
Computing and infrastructure (about 10% of metaverse market size in 2030). Hardware companies will face pressure to develop higher-performing chips, servers, and networking technologies to render high-quality graphics and reduce latency.