Metaverse “cooling off period”, what to do next?

The “Rational” Metaverse Trilogy.

If 2021 is a hot year for the Metaverse, then 2022 will be a year when the concept of the Metaverse returns to rationality.

In the just-concluded 2022 Two Sessions, many members of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference pointed out that it is necessary to think coldly about the Metaverse, and proposed to be vigilant against the Metaverse’s “avoiding the real and making the false”, and try to avoid the phenomenon of using the Metaverse to hype.

“At present, there is a relative lack of in-depth thinking and calm analysis of the Metaverse.” Wan Jie, member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and Chairman of Artron Culture Group, believes that the Metaverse is still an emerging thing that has not yet been formed, and its related application scenarios are still developing. initial stage. Wan Jie pointed out that there are already signs of scams under the banner of Metaverse, and some companies and capital follow the trend, making blind investments, squatting trademarks, and misleading the market.

The emergence of any hot spot is inevitably suspected of “hype” and “following the trend”. Perhaps the reason for the above phenomenon is: so far, there is no standard definition of the Metaverse, just like “there are a thousand in the eyes of a thousand people.” Hamlet”, when the definition of the Metaverse in the industry is inconsistent, it will make it difficult for the capital market to distinguish the “true and false Metaverse”.

So what exactly is the Metaverse? According to the book “Metaverse and Carbon Neutrality” co-authored by Yiou, “define the Metaverse in one sentence”, that is: the Metaverse is a new social form of the integration of virtual and reality under the highly developed human digitalization and intelligence.

How to understand this definition? The Metaverse is a new form of society, the next generation of human society, neither technology nor industry. It is characterized by “integration of virtual and real”, that is, the full integration of virtual world, digital world and real world.

When the “contour” of the Metaverse is gradually clear, and when the enthusiasm of the market returns to rationality, how will the next step of the Metaverse develop?

According to the “three main lines” of Metaverse development proposed in “Metaverse and Carbon Neutrality”, in the future, the Metaverse will start from “interactive experience of human’s six senses”, “various engines and their content generation platforms” and “blockchain’s interactive experience”. The three dimensions of economy and governance” build a new social form of virtual and real integration.

So now, what is the development status of the above-mentioned three dimensions of the main line? What problems and challenges do they face?

Interaction: The beginning of virtual-real fusion

In fact, most people view the Metaverse as “seeing flowers in the fog”: not completely, but not “completely” either.

In other words, many people still know little about the real Metaverse, but they already understand the concept of the Metaverse. The reason is that many literary and art workers use their rich imagination and various forms of expression to present the virtual world of science fiction to the public. , and told the audience, “You have to know that in the vast universe, there may be another ‘you’, that ‘you’ will transcend reality and have extraordinary freedom and ability.”

If you can see the future through a pair of glasses, then for now, this pair of glasses must be VR glasses. Perhaps it is not yet known where the end of the universe is, but right now, the fiery “entrance to the Metaverse” is already in front of everyone.

In 1935, Stanley Weinbaum conceived a glasses that could realize virtual reality (VR) in the novel “Pygmalion’s Glasses”.

In 2018, the first thing that brought the Metaverse into the public eye was a Spielberg film: Ready Player One. In this film, the VR headset links the “real world” with the “virtual world”, allowing the protagonist to shuttle back and forth between the virtual and the real. In other words, connecting and interacting with the virtual world is the first step in the Metaverse.

According to “Metaverse and Carbon Neutrality”, in a narrow sense, the interactive technology in the main line of interactive development of the Metaverse refers to “interaction between humans and the Metaverse”, not only AR/VR/MR, but a complete coverage of eyes and ears , the six dimensions of nose, tongue, body and mind.

The main line of interactive development in a broad sense also includes “interaction between things and the Metaverse”, including how things link digital things, digital people and digital systems in the Metaverse (through the new Internet of Things system, etc.), and the virtual world in the Metaverse. How the world affects and controls things, things, and people in the physical world (including new composite multi-matrix 3D printers, etc.).

At present, the main concern in the industry is still the “interaction between humans and the Metaverse” in the narrow sense.

According to IDC data, in 2020, the global VR and AR (augmented reality) market will be about 90 billion yuan, of which the VR market will be 62 billion yuan. It is estimated that in the five years from 2020 to 2024, the average annual growth rate of the global VR/AR industry scale will be about 54%, of which the VR growth rate will be about 45%.

Since the second quarter of 2016, VR products from HTC, Samsung, Sony and other companies have been shipped in the Chinese market one after another. In the same year, domestic technology giants such as Xiaomi and Huawei also announced their entry into the VR market. Subsequently, domestic VR companies have sprung up like mushrooms after a rain.

According to the data of the Huajing Industry Research Institute, the number of VR companies established in my country has increased year by year from 2015 to 2020, from 874 to 3,088; in 2021, 1,997 VR companies will be newly established in my country in the first half of the year. As of the first half of 2021, the total number of VR-related enterprises in my country has reached nearly 20,000.

VR provides humans with highly immersive, high-resolution, and high-fidelity vision and communication methods. Although technically and product-wise, it will take 3 to 5 years to achieve granularity, refresh rate, and latency that are indistinguishable by the naked eye. time, but it’s not far away.

“Metaverse and Carbon Neutrality” predicts that “six degrees of freedom” consumer-grade products with medium-low cost and medium-low effect are expected to detonate the market in about a year, which mainly depends on several major manufacturers, especially those of Apple and Meta. schedule.

At the end of October 2020, Meta (formerly Facebook) released the Oculus Quest 2, an all-in-one VR wearable machine, and achieved a cumulative sales of 3 million units three months after its release. In February 2021, the product became the No. 1 VR headset on the SteamVR platform. According to investment bank Evercore, in 2021, Oculus Quest 2 sales will exceed 8 million units.

According to the “2021 China VR/AR Industry Research Report” by Yiou Think Tank, referring to the ecological development path of the computer and smartphone industries, the two prerequisites for the ecological prosperity of the VR industry are that the global VR shipments exceed 10 million, and the monthly VR game content Active users are no less than 8 million (accounting for more than 80% of the total monthly active users).

Meta founder & CEO Mark Zuckerberg once said that about 10 million people use and buy VR content as a “threshold” for developers to continue to develop and make profits. Crossing this “threshold”, the content and ecosystem will achieve leapfrog development. The continued growth of VR shipments is a testament to the feasibility of VR commercialization.

In the first quarter of 2021, global VR headset shipments increased by 52.4% compared to the same period in 2020.According to IDC, the global VR headset device shipments are expected to reach an average annual growth rate of about 41.4% between 2021 and 2025. The China Academy of Information and Communications Technology predicts that in 2024, the global VR terminal shipments will reach 33.75 million units, with a compound annual growth rate of 56%. By then, the market size of the VR industry will reach 240 billion yuan, with a compound annual growth rate of 45%.

Yiou think tank predicts that the VR headset shipments in the Chinese market are expected to reach 1.43 million units in 2021; from 2020 to 2025, China’s VR/AR terminal hardware shipments will increase from about 4 million units to nearly 60 million units.

According to the calculation of Yiou Think Tank, the scale of China’s VR/AR terminal hardware market is expected to reach 178.9 billion yuan in 2025; in the domestic application market segmentation scenario, excluding the impact of hardware revenue, the VR consumer-level application market in 2025 will be no less than 296 million yuan. 100 million yuan, and the enterprise-level application market size will not be less than 93.1 billion yuan.

It can be said that at present, VR is developing rapidly, and the “world’s edge” in the Metaverse era will eventually become a reality due to the development of interactive technology.

Content: Game business monetization is a problem

If interaction is the first step into the Metaverse, then various engines and content generation platforms are the soul that makes the Metaverse transcend reality.

The main lines of various engines and content generation platforms include game engines, digital twin engines, industrial design and simulation engines, digital human engines, educational courseware engines, construction engines, clothing design engines, art creation engines and other engines and content generation platforms. It has developed from PGC (professional production content) to UGC (original content) to AIGC (AI technology automatically generated content), providing solid and rich tool support for the explosion of Metaverse content.

“The Metaverse and Carbon Neutrality” mentions that the era of the Metaverse will be an era in which human spiritual products and services are extremely abundant, and an era in which the creator economy is extremely prosperous. Like the internet, premium content is at the heart of the Metaverse. 

Here we mainly talk about the Metaverse game content.

“The essence of the Metaverse is to create games.” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said: “The Metaverse can put people, places, things into a physics engine, interconnected, and essentially create games.”

Whether the essence of the Metaverse is the game content or not, we will not talk about it for the time being, but it is undeniable that at present, the game content is indeed the landing scene closest to the Metaverse.

“Roblox went public”, “Facebook changed its name to Meta”, and “Microsoft acquired Blizzard”, which can be said to be the “three iconic events” of the Metaverse in the game field.

In March 2021, the game platform Roblox, as the first company to write the concept of “Metaverse” into its prospectus, successfully landed on the New York Stock Exchange. The market value on the first day of listing exceeded 40 billion US dollars, detonating the technology and capital circles. In addition, the rising stock price and market value of Roblox after its listing has also given capital a “reassurance”. Capital sees that the seemingly illusory concept of the Metaverse can really be exchanged for “real money”.

Subsequently, the “wind of the Metaverse” became more and more intense in the capital market. The Metaverse game got even more exciting when Zuckerberg bought Oculus for $2 billion and renamed the company Meta.

However, the good times didn’t last long. Facts have proved that stories that can “realize” are called good stories. When neither Roblox nor Meta survived the financial report, their storytelling became less “good”.

The financial report shows that Roblox’s net loss per share attributable to shareholders in the fourth quarter was $0.25, much higher than Wall Street’s expected $0.13; bookings were $770 million, lower than Wall Street’s $772 million expected; daily active users reached 49.5 million, lower than Analysts expected 50.5 million.

After the earnings report was released, Roblox’s shares fell 15.28% to $62.1 per share in after-hours trading. Roblox shares fell nearly 7% as of March 14, 2022.

Coincidentally, Meta achieved revenue of US$33.671 billion and net profit of US$10.285 billion in the fourth quarter, down 8% year-on-year. This is the company’s first year-on-year profit decline since the second fiscal quarter of 2019; global daily active users fell for the first time month-on-month. From 1.930 billion to 1.929 billion. Monthly active users were 2.91 billion, which also didn’t increase from the previous quarter.

In fiscal 2021, Meta posted revenue of $2.27 billion and an operating loss of $10.19 billion. In other words, Meta’s “achievement” in the Metaverse business is to lose about one station B in a year (market value of 10.787 billion US dollars).After the financial report was announced, Meta’s stock price plummeted by more than 20%, wiping out $200 billion in market value.

For Roblox and Meta, the current issue is monetization.

The maturity of the engine technology will lead to the maturity of the content production platform. According to “Metaverse and Carbon Neutrality”, the game engine will have two major development directions in the future:

One is to continue to provide “professional and complex” but “comprehensive and powerful” functions for professionals;

The other is to evolve easy-to-learn and easy-to-use functions for the general public, provide fool-like virtual world construction capabilities for various UGC platforms, and further develop into an AIGC platform.

Blockchain: Difficult to commercialize and have security risks

The blockchain is an important infrastructure of the Metaverse and the foundation of the Metaverse’s economic and governance system. In the related technologies of building the Metaverse, if there is no blockchain, the Metaverse may always be a game form, but after the blockchain has opened up the bridge between “virtual” and “reality”, it will make the “virtual world” into a “parallel universe”.

The just-concluded 2022 Two Sessions involved a number of proposals on the Metaverse, mainly including encouraging technology-based enterprises to work hard in the blockchain and other fields, creating a digital ecosystem for ports and shipping with blockchain technology, and guiding social capital to continue to increase its efforts in the region. Investment in data technology innovations such as blockchain, etc.

It can be seen that the country has attached great importance to the application of blockchain technology.

It would be a bit too hasty to judge the perfection of the blockchain ecosystem by taking the popularity of the Metaverse as an example, and even use this as an example to conclude that the blockchain era is coming. But it is undeniable that blockchain, as the underlying technology of the new generation of Internet, has been applied in many fields and has successfully implemented cases.

According to the “2021 China Urban Blockchain Comprehensive Index Report”, Shanghai’s blockchain comprehensive index ranks second in the country, second only to Beijing. At present, there are nearly 1,400 blockchain enterprises with input and output in the country, and Shanghai accounts for about 1/4.

In addition, in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, technology represented by blockchain has played an important role in all aspects. The Winter Olympics has opened up a good start for the application of blockchain technology, and also contributed to the value of financial consumption scenarios. Expansion provides samples of blockchain solutions.

However, with the development of blockchain, challenges and security risks have gradually emerged.

“The Metaverse Era, How Blockchain Develops” mentioned that the volume of blockchain data stored by nodes is getting larger and larger, and the burden of storage and calculation is getting heavier and heavier, which will bring about the operation of the core client of the blockchain. great difficulty.

In addition, the application efficiency of the blockchain is low. A Bitcoin transaction requires six confirmations, each confirmation takes about ten minutes, and the whole network confirmation takes about an hour to complete. This kind of efficiency is not suitable for high performance. financial transactions. If these problems are not properly resolved, it will inevitably affect the commercialization process of blockchain technology in the Metaverse.

At the same time, crimes against the blockchain are taking place.

According to incomplete statistics, there are currently 97,000 registered blockchain-related enterprises in my country. From 2017 to 2020, the global compound growth rate of the blockchain industry is 73.2%, and the compound growth rate in my country is 83.5%. Blockchain companies are “mixed”, and many companies have begun to harvest users under the “hats” of “chain travel” and “Metaverse”.

Among them, using concepts such as “Metaverse” and “blockchain” to package their own “Nong X World”, “X Valkyrie”, “Colonial X Star” and many other suspected fraud games, claiming that “you can get your money back in 3 days”, “Earning 70,000 a day by lying down”, “doubling the assets of customers”, “new ways to force riches”, in fact, these games, like ordinary games, are mostly web version 2D games.

It is worth noting that blockchain application security is also a key link in blockchain security that cannot be ignored.Although blockchain technology integrates many security control technologies such as cryptography and distributed storage, it still has security vulnerabilities. In addition to technical risks, there are also compliance risks and speculative risks in the process of integrating blockchain with the real economy.

end

There is a point of view: “When Tencent and Ali, the top domestic Internet giants, began to experience a decline in net profit, Douyin, which is considered by the outside world to be a byte ‘money printing machine’, also began to slow down… When the growth of all Internet giants began to weaken , reducing costs and increasing efficiency has become an inevitable choice under the background of the times.”

For Internet companies that have gone through a decade of ups and downs, they need a “new story”. At this time, the Metaverse appears, and it will be the appropriate “redemption” for the Internet.

No matter what direction the Metaverse is heading, it is undeniable that capital and business will never cease to crave growth. For the future of the Metaverse, we just have to believe: time will tell.

For countless individuals, the Metaverse will not bring the eternity of time and the extension of life. Perhaps what we need to do is just as the “Three-Body Problem” said: “Give time to civilization, not civilization to time.”

References:

Mantis Observation: “It’s hard to get to the sky, why is it so difficult for blockchain technology to learn to make money in the Metaverse? 》

Understand the notes: “Under the concept of the Metaverse, how do game companies choose? 》

Market value observation: “Metaverse reshapes game stocks”

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/metaverse-cooling-off-period-what-to-do-next/
Coinyuppie is an open information publishing platform, all information provided is not related to the views and positions of coinyuppie, and does not constitute any investment and financial advice. Users are expected to carefully screen and prevent risks.

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