Giants reassess the Metaverse

From icing on the cake, to seeking support

From unheard of to household names, the Metaverse born out of science fiction has ushered in a concentrated explosion in the past year.

Although the influx of players from various industries and the technology Internet media have copied the word “Metaverse” over and over again, so far, no one has really pushed it from concept to reality.

Like photovoltaics and AI, which are very popular for a while, once there is a deviation between the application and the expectation, the Internet context will be extremely impatient, and words such as charm and scam will follow one after another. This is the current situation of the Metaverse. .

So, is the Metaverse Falsified? In a sense, yes, the best explanation is that the Internet giants who are quite fond of chasing the wind have been deflated one after another-with the idea of ​​​​entering the market and making a fortune, it is inevitable that there will be a lot of trouble.

But if you switch dimensions and re-examine the trends of the giants, you can see that the giants not only did not choose to exit, but instead gave a more accurate answer after reassessing the Metaverse.

chasing the wind, telling a story

Throughout the industry, Internet giants have been quick to respond to popular trends.

When the Metaverse rises and virtual currencies and NFTs are dying out, Alibaba and Tencent have implemented the little-known “digital collections” into their products, and launched digital collection platforms Whale Scout and Magic Core respectively. Shortly after Facebook changed its name to Meta, Baidu launched the Metaverse social app Xi Rong, and a month later, Byte launched the benchmark product “Party Island”.

Giants reassess the Metaverse

It’s worth noting that Party Island launched in January, but didn’t begin public beta until early June. This means that Party Island is probably not a product that has been planned for a long time, but a product that has been rushed out under the strategy.

The subtext of this series of actions is that it is difficult for the big manufacturers to sit still in the face of potential tuyere and aggressively marching opponents. In other words, not falling behind was the underlying logic of Dachang’s initial exploration of the Metaverse.

However, following the same strategy, the competition intensity of the Metaverse front is fundamentally different from the “chicken-eating war” that Tencent and NetEase have launched to compete for the supremacy of mobile games.

Taking Xiyong and Party Island as examples, as a Metaverse social application, Baidu and Bytes obviously did not devote their resources to it – neither Avatar image construction nor gameplay development are superior, and Xiyong is even more so because of its construction. Rough mold and Caton were scolded by public opinion.

This shows that Baidu and Byte did not think that the Metaverse Track could hatch the next star product at the time, and naturally did not pay enough attention to it.

Compared with creating new ones, Tencent entrusted the Metaverse to the old applications. Shortly after the advent of Magic Core, Tencent successively applied for trademarks such as “QQ Metaverse”, “QQ Music Metaverse”, and “National K Song Yuanverse”. Most of them were eventually rejected, but it is not difficult to see Tencent’s logic from it – dividing the Metaverse into test fields, allowing slightly old products to tell new stories.

Take Tencent Music as an example. For example, the online music business tool of “digital player” has a heavy attribute, and the live broadcast of the show of “feeding a family” is difficult to imagine.The emergence of the Metaverse just gave Tencent Music the opportunity to shape its “face”.

At the end of last year, Tencent Music launched TMELAND, which not only set up virtual concerts, but also opened a special virtual room for singers and musicians, and used the express of the Metaverse to tell the story of music scene. Behind the renaming of Soul and Inke to “Ying Universe”, there is more or less the meaning of brand renewal.

From this, it can be seen that none of the big factories that rushed to land in the Metaverse really went to the Metaverse, but each had their own motives. To a certain extent, this reflects the common cognition of the big factories at that time – it is difficult for the Metaverse to bring value at this stage, but it is still a good story.

But no matter how good a story is, it is only a story after all, and only making money is the last word.Especially in the severe environment, the big factories that do not support idlers also set their sights on the Metaverse in search of “graduate objects”.

Worthless business big change

Recently, a piece of news has caused turmoil in the Metaverse industry circle—the Phantom Core, which has been online for less than a year, is rumored to be abolished. While the waves caused by the magic nucleus have not yet subsided, the social application “Party Island” of the Byte Metaverse was revealed to be removed from the shelves.

Although the news has not been confirmed, the abolition of the magic core is actually not surprising.Although the current digital collection is on the rise, the Internet giants, on the other hand, their pace of entering the digital collection stopped at the Baidu Interstellar Pocket in January this year, and platforms such as Ali Whale Scout, Jingdong Lingxi, and NetEase Planet seem to have also lost their way forward. power.

Giants reassess the Metaverse

The logic behind it is that, in the context of stricter compliance, the endorsement of major manufacturers has been unable to dispel the anxiety of Shuzang players about the uncertainty of the future. After all, at this stage, most of the followers of Shuzang are reporting for speculative purposes. Compared with the low-liquidity platforms owned by major manufacturers, more and more speculators have begun to turn their attention to those who have opened a secondary market and use the shell of Shuzang. money game.

With the gradual collapse of the “consensus” of the big factories and the continuous loss of users, the digital platform of the Internet giant will also face a decline – even the Ali whale scout with “transfer” is also plagued by slow sales, let alone The magic core of no transaction and no transfer.

Therefore, for Tencent, the magic core has lost its value, neither can it create more revenue for Tencent, and Tencent will not open up the secondary market to increase compliance risks.

Likewise, Party Island is a typical “worthless business”. One of the main reasons is that the core of the social Metaverse at this stage is an upgrade, not a re-engineering.

Taking jelly as an example, even if it can detonate short-term popularity with its novel and exquisite shell, its weak core cannot support the long-term retention of users. Once the user’s freshness is lost, it is likely to fade out of the public eye.

However, the retention of force is nothing more than the introduction of light games, matching social games and other gameplay, which will inevitably conflict with the business of old players in the pan-entertainment social track, thereby intensifying competition. Jelly, which has the opportunity to explode, is still like this, not to mention the players like Party Island who have never been out of the circle – as of press time, the number of Weibo followers of Party Island has stayed at 80.

It can be seen that no matter how fresh the concept of the Metaverse is, the subdivision needs that new players can think of at this stage have long been divided up by the old players on the track.

In other words, the social Metaverse track does not need a brand-new app. If the social Metaverse track is really promising, then Baidu and Byte would better reengineer and upgrade their respective Tieba and Douyin instead of launching new products.

Therefore, on the surface, the giants who love to chase the wind seem to be “fever” invariably, but in essence, the disappearance of the magic core and the party island is actually the exchange of blood for the worthless business of the Internet giants.

The reason for the change of blood is that the big factory no longer regards the Metaverse as a test field for purely following the trend, but grafts greater ambitions here. Faced with the current rush to make money, Tencent and Byte seem to have better choices.

Giant’s Metaverse Ambition

The fact that Phantom Core and Party Island have faded out of the Internet context does not mean that the Metaverse has lost its value in the eyes of giants. On the contrary, Tencent and Byte took out more resources and stepped into the same river.

In June of this year, it was revealed that Tencent had officially established an extended reality (XR) department. Earlier, there were rumors that Tencent acquired Black Shark Technology. Byte acquired VR maker Pico early last year and incorporated it into the XR business line.

Obviously, regardless of the level of attention and investment scale, hardware is a bit higher than the aforementioned worthless business. XR equipment, as a hardware entrance, has become the main battlefield of the big factory Metaverse.

One of the key points of this turn of the rudder is that the choice of hardware as the landing scene not only carries the imagination of the Metaverse, but also is an excellent safe haven, at least it will not be “kidnapped” by the Metaverse.

Whether it is a digital collection or going to a virtual world enclosure, it is based on the wind and is highly bound to the Metaverse. This means that once the concept of the Metaverse is falsified, there is a high probability that the relevant investment will be lost. Even if it can finally be implemented, the long evolution of the technology field will infinitely stretch the front line, which is thankless.

And hardware is the entrance to the Metaverse. The landing of the Metaverse will naturally bring huge returns for the giants. Even if it is falsified, VR/AR hardware can also quench the thirst in the cold wave of consumer electronics, so that it can win the smartphone The “ticket” of the market era.

On the other hand, the high entry threshold of XR hardware can also screen out a considerable number of players for big manufacturers. Taking traditional hardware manufacturers as an example, their revenue structure is relatively simple, and they are extremely dependent on the profits from selling hardware. But XR hardware is different from mobile phones, smart home appliances and other products, and its logic is more like a game console.

That is to say, hardware concessions and content payment may become the main theme. And the content is exactly where the long board of the big Internet companies is – the person leading the XR department is none other than Shen Li, the vice president of Tencent Games.

It can be seen from the big manufacturers abandoning their worthless businesses and turning their attention to XR hardware that the giants seem to have reassessed the value of the Metaverse to themselves. In his eyes, the Metaverse is no longer the icing on the cake in the past, but is included in the hardware and becomes a pillar business that may drive overall growth.

From this, it can be foreseen that the battle situation of Dachang’s Metaverse has not only not stalled, but will intensify as more players pour in one after another.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:
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