We’ve been told repeatedly that the metaverse will change our lives in just a few years — we’ll be shopping, socializing, learning, and working in virtual worlds. And our virtual personas will matter as much as our flesh-and-blood ones.
In the Middle East, this optimism is shared by technology innovators, developers, business and policy leaders.
A new report by Bain & Company predicts that the metaverse market could reach $700 billion to $900 billion by 2030.
The report, titled Taking the Hyperbole Out of the Metaverse, states that companies that engage in the metaverse’s early stages of development, known as the “seed stage,” over the next five to ten years will likely be the biggest winners.
The report also predicts that the metaverse will likely grow faster than other influential technologies, given the accelerated pace of change.
“If a company waits for the metaverse to reach the scale phase before it enters the market, it’s likely already too late. Big market winners often emerge during the seed stage: think Microsoft and Apple in PCs, Nintendo in video games, or Apple’s iPhone in smartphones and iPad in tablets,” the report said.
Chris Johnson, a partner in Bain’s Technology practice, says that people have already seen metaverse-like technologies take hold within different industries. He points to immersive gaming platforms, which already have hundreds of millions of monthly active users.
“Our research shows there are five competitive battlegrounds that executives should consider 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,” he added.
The report lists five key potential areas for the market.
Virtual experiences: Gaming leads consumer metaverse applications, but immersive fitness and entertainment, collaboration and productivity, digital marketing, employee training, education, and healthcare could also have compelling, innovative use cases.
Content-creation tools: Software tools that provide the building blocks, editing platforms, and interfaces for creating metaverse worlds and experiences will make up about 5% of the projected market size in 2030.
App stores and operating systems: These will serve as the primary access points for users to keep them engaged with the platform and headset they use to access the metaverse.
Devices: It includes VR headsets, PCs, gaming consoles, and smartphones.
Computing and infrastructure: This covers hardware and software needed to render high-quality graphics and reduce latency in the metaverse.