Much like the AI of the past, in 2022, the Metaverse has already disappeared in the context of the Internet.
Previously, the public had always regarded Facebook, which changed its name to Meta, as a joke, ridiculed its greenish stock price, and mocked the crudely modeled little people in the virtual concert. The latecomer Baidu also failed to get rid of the situation of being ridiculed.
But in the business world, the Metaverse is on the rise. On the one hand, there are capitalists who hold high the banner and lead the charge, and on the other hand, there are giants who were once considered impossible to end, but end in succession. From the renaming of Inke to Ying Universe, to the establishment of the XR department by Tencent, to the establishment of the Metaverse Standard Forum by tech giants such as Meta and Microsoft, this upsurge may be far from the time when the bubble bursts.
Even though the players continue to end, the current stage of the Metaverse scene is still in the stage of constantly hitting the wall and exploring the just-needed stage. The relatively large Meta and Tencent adopt a parallel approach of software and hardware, trying to win the hardware entrance while exploring applications; players such as Baidu and Inke are software-first, and enclose the territory first in the virtual world.
It’s just that pure hardware devices, games, and social applications ultimately fall into demand. If there are no users, everything is empty talk. To this end, all players have entered the journey of finding users.
Otaku hold up the Metaverse?
Players who step into the Metaverse River generally find two areas of entry, gaming and socializing.
Among them, social applications are aimed at the general public, with low cost and great imagination. Naturally, they have won a lot of fans. Baidu Xiyang and the smashing gel are all in this category.
But at this stage, this path is shackled. Generally speaking, it is difficult for most Metaverse social applications to avoid user acquisition and retention issues.
In terms of innovation, first, the technical level is limited by the times, and manufacturers cannot provide killer applications for the general public; second, the consumer market is not yet mature. Even if a cross-generational product such as “Half-Life: Alyx” is born in the social field of the Metaverse, the hardware threshold will kill it in the cradle, which is laborious and thankless for the manufacturer.
The problem of retention is even worse. Taking gel as an example, even if it can enter the market with novelty and exquisiteness, its core is still empty and boring, and the freshness of the consumer market will fade away. In other words, just socializing alone cannot support the immature Metaverse.
The social road is temporarily unavailable, and games have become the only remaining exit. Amazon Cloud’s “Metaverse Solution” points to the game industry, and has moved out game manufacturers such as CAPCOM and EPIC GAMES to endorse it; and the person leading Tencent’s XR department is none other than Shen Li, vice president of Tencent Games.
Compared with social networking, games seem to be more able to meet the needs of users for the Metaverse, and once became the only way to attract traffic to virtual communities. Take the Meta virtual community Horizon Worlds as an example. In addition to social attributes, it has built-in games and activities, and provides users with creative functions to keep users in the community.
However, it is also limited by the technical level. Compared with the ultimate form depicted by “Ready Player One”, the so-called Metaverse game either lacks the sense of substitution brought by high-precision pictures, or lacks the sense of belonging provided by the social circle. slightly split.
Take the built-in mini-games of Horizon Worlds as an example. Although it can provide a certain amount of fun, it cannot convince users to indulge in VR for a long time. Although “Half-Life: Alyx” can make players linger in it, it does not have the The former sense of social belonging.
Obviously, the current Metaverse game is still far from the “Oasis”, and before “from 0 to 1”, the players who laid out the Metaverse are exploring the foggy road through “small but fine” attempts.
Based on this, in the eyes of manufacturers, those otakus who are addicted to the virtual world have naturally become the best successors of Metaverse games compared to the opposite “current charge”. After all, under the current trend of stratification, the otakus who are mostly connected by their peers not only have new technological ideas, but also need interaction and a sense of belonging.
Taking game houses with more demanding needs as an example, there are a large number of players gathering together to warm up, ranging from game categories to game manufacturers and even a single game work. And this highly active “organization” that spans time and space, relies on the same technology and consumes the same content, is the rare “guinea pig” of the Metaverse.
It’s a pity that the otaku and otaku don’t seem to be able to support the imagination of the Metaverse players. In fact, not only are the two not “intimate”, but they also show a trace of incompatibility.
Otaku to the left, Metaverse to the right
Counting down the circles of otaku such as video games, virtual social networking, or virtual idols, it is easy to find a commonality, that is, “love”.
Not to mention the virtual idol fans who pay for love, the love of gamers comes from the recognition of game content, and the logic of paying for content has run through the game industry for decades; and in virtual social scenarios, users only love the people they are in. Only in the small world will real money be exchanged for virtual carriers such as clothing, houses, and props to show their individuality.
Although the word “love” is often confused with business, as far as the Metaverse is concerned, the two are essentially deviating from the two – the manufacturers who advertised the Metaverse diligently presented their works and muttered , “The moon is very bright tonight. Beautiful, and the otakus took a glance and threw them aside, not forgetting to add “Fuck you” in their mouths.
In other words, otaku, a Metaverse manufacturer, thinks that the customer group is actually a typical “worthless user” – it is not easy to persuade them, and it is difficult to expect them to bring revenue. It’s like it’s hard for you to convince a second-dimensional user of BilibIli to become a member: he will point to the “Holy Light” in the fan drama and question you, “That’s it? Why?”
The logic behind this is that the so-called “love” can easily be replaced by “harshness”. In the immature Metaverse scene , the core players who love games are not willing to waste time in the budding Metaverse applications, and the rough modeled Metaverse community may not be as attractive to users as Centimeter Show force.
Of course, it’s not that manufacturers are unwilling to come up with products that meet their needs, but the aforementioned technologies and markets are immature. Taking VR as an example, it’s not practical to run games with cutting-edge animation quality away from the console. Products that meet the standards are bound to reach the shackles of volume, weight, and heat dissipation—not so much VR glasses as steam goggles.
Last year, IDC predicted that the compound annual growth rate of the AR/VR market’s global spending scale will reach 54.0% from 2020 to 2024. Qualcomm also revealed that Meta’s VR device Oculus Quest 2 has sold over 10 million units.
Recently, Tianfeng International analyst Ming-Chi Kuo publicly stated that Meta may postpone all AR/VR projects after 2024, and reduce this year’s shipments by 25-35%. Once the news came out, the market value of upstream equipment manufacturer Goertek evaporated by 10 billion.
If the news is correct, Meta, which has eaten both software and hardware, will be the first to cut the hardware entry, indicating that the otaku who love to pay is causing manufacturers to lose confidence again, and the AR/VR era expected by the industry may still be. It will take longer to arrive. From this point of view, one can’t help but sweat Tencent and Luo Yonghao.
Compared with the otaku, it is another group of people who are swarming into various Metaverse applications today—the speculators who are waiting for the opportunity to make money, or the white people who have heard the news.
They do not need a virtual space such as Horizon Worlds, nor do they use XR equipment as a hardware entry, but instead focus on P2E (Play To Earn) games, or a more pure “set concept”.
The so-called P2E game is a game similar to the “play to earn” mode. Relying on the blockchain technology, players can earn NFT-attributed game items by playing and convert them into real currency. Taking “Axie Infinity” as an example, the main user is not a otaku, but a “breadwinner” crowd.
Last year, affected by the epidemic, the Philippines fell into a state of economic stagnation, and about 7.3 million Filipinos were unemployed. In order to make a living, people who lost their jobs began to play “Axie Infinity”, and when the virtual currency situation was booming, the money earned from playing games once exceeded the income of some people who originally worked. In contrast, the otaku group who pays great attention to the quality of virtual life will not go to work in “Axie Infinity”.
And if P2E games still have “playing content” to connect otaku, then the actual followers of all kinds of money games under the guise of the Metaverse shell are completely speculators.
Digital collections derived from the Metaverse are a good example. On some digital collection platforms with secondary markets, stories of skyrocketing and plummeting are being staged almost every day. In May of this year, the digital Tibetan platform ibox ushered in a slump, with a maximum drop of 85%. Even though the platform urgently launched the “Metaverse” section in June to strengthen its endorsement, it was difficult to hide the death knell that had been sounded.
Although the NFT based on the public chain seems to have realized the value of the Metaverse and boosted the Metaverse industry to some extent, the price far beyond the common sense forced it to shut out the most core consumer groups. On the other hand, no matter how popular the NFT market is, it has nothing to do with the core application scenarios.
When the concept of the Metaverse broke out, almost all articles about the Metaverse mentioned Neil Stephenson’s “Avalanche” to explain the origin of the concept of the Metaverse – just like when “cyberpunk” became popular, The Internet Context re-enacts William Gibson’s Neuromancer.
Whether “cyberpunk” or the Metaverse is attractive, it is because it depicts a “viable future”.
But it is also a concept that transcends the times. Why is capital almost crazy about the Metaverse? On the contrary, “cyberpunk” only stays at the level of humanities and art, perhaps simply because the former is a “concept” that can be dressed up, while the latter involves Cyborgs and prosthetics can’t tell a moving story.
After all, in an online course about the Metaverse, the speaker inserted technologies such as no-code, low-code, digital twin, privacy computing, blockchain, AI, cloud native, etc. It has exhausted the mainstream discourse of the technology media in recent years.
It is worth noting that William Gibson, the aforementioned father of cyberpunk, once summed up the asymmetric relationship between the circle and technology with the sentence “The future has come, but the distribution is not uniform.” This is the case with the Metaverse. Expecters are eager for the arrival of the XR and even the “brain machine” era, but the level of technology has shattered their illusions, and companies that stop first are naturally unpleasant.
But objectively speaking, the Metaverse and the otaku are not binary oppositions. After all, when “Ready Player One” was released, it was the otaku group who made the most of those objective game characters and the Gundam who appeared at the end of the film.
To quote Neil Stephenson: “When the hands of a clock line up, when a pin falls into a slit, when something happens by chance, a door opens, a little crevice Appearing, through this gap, is a glimpse of another universe.”
And the otakus who seem to be deviating from the Metaverse are actually guarding their spiritual hometown with “harshness”, and then waiting for the gap to come.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/otaku-cant-save-the-metaverse/
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