The Metaverse wind blows only anxiety and “leeks”

What did the wind of the meta-universe blow?

It must be called the meta universe, and it seems that it has become the standard language of the entire Internet industry.

Since Spielberg’s “Number One Player” in 2018, the concept of meta-universe has become popular. Here, people have seen how wonderful the virtual world parallel to the real world is. Similarly, with the cutting-edge of 5G, artificial intelligence, VR, etc. The advancement of technology has also allowed people to discover the huge commercial value contained in the meta universe. At the end of October, Facebook changed its name to Meta to let people see the future of the Internet.

Tencent , Alibaba , Baidu , Huawei , Byte… More and more domestic Internet giants have followed suit, and the concept of meta universe has stirred the entire Internet industry. However, what is the meta universe, when will it come, and how will it be realized? These questions have been lingering in the minds of outsiders.

After this, people can’t help but ask: What exactly is blowing in the wind of the meta-universe?

Meta-cosmic fanaticism

On November 17, Tianxia Show’s chairman Li Meng wrote an open letter about “Rainbow Universe”, which ushered in a surge in the market value of Tianxia Show.

Rainbow Universe, whose name resembles Meta Universe, is a social meta universe product developed by Tianxia Show. Li Meng said that Rainbow Universe is a 3D virtual social product based on blockchain technology. “The product is mainly based on the 3D virtual planet (P-LANET) in the Z era. It builds virtual identities, virtual images, virtual spaces, virtual props, and virtual social interactions for users. It will work with global social celebrities to create an immersive pan Entertain the virtual life community, and provide users with application scenarios such as use and communication based on NFT assets.”

Simply put, users can customize their own 3D virtual images in Rainbow Universe, and freely buy and sell virtual real estate, virtual props and other virtual assets in their hands. However, Tianxiaxiu also stated that Rainbow Universe is currently in a state of grayscale testing, and the official launch time is still uncertain.

But even so, the enthusiasm of investors remained unabated, and the market value rose by nearly 5 billion yuan in just the next two trading days. Time is longer. Within 22 trading days from October 21 to November 19, the stock price of Tianxia Show has risen by 85.58%, and its market value has risen by more than 12.765 billion yuan.

In fact, the enthusiastic investors are far more than the world show. According to inquiries, from the beginning of September to November 16, the Eastern Wealth Metaverse Concept Index has risen from 989.58 to 1593.06, an increase of 612%. Roblox, an American meta-universe game platform, declared in its listing prospectus, “We are not a game company, we are a meta-universe company.” As a result, Roblox’s market value has soared to $5 billion in a short period of time-in one fell swoop, surpassing that it is in another trend. Xiaopeng car on the road.

Of course, like the previous VR and blockchain outlets, Metaverse has also attracted the participation of other “weird and weird” professionals. On the paid knowledge app, more than 40,000 people have paid to sign up for a Meta Universe training course priced at 30 yuan, and the estimated total revenue is more than 1.3 million yuan; the discounted price on the e-commerce platform is about 100 yuan. “The First Book of the Universe”, sold more than 2,000 copies in half a month, attracted 14,000 purchases, and sold nearly 1.6 million yuan; in virtual games, a virtual real estate can be priced as high as 530,000 yuan.

However, compared with the hot enthusiasm of the insiders , the meta universe itself is still an unfamiliar concept in the eyes of many outsiders. So, what is the meta universe?

As early as 1992, in the work “Avalanche” by science fiction writer Neal Stephenson, he conceived a metaverse that was born out of and parallel to the real world. It was just a translation at the time. In China, this concept is called “super meta domain”, which is far from evoking people’s illusions.

Most of the current meta-universe concepts refer to Roblox’s definition-the meta-universe should have eight elements such as identity, friends, immersion, low latency, diversification, anywhere, economic system, and civilization. And if this is the standard for defining, in fact, the “World of Warcraft” game developed by Blizzard in the early years has already taken shape. In this game, players can collaborate and communicate with each other and participate in production and consumption together. Outside of the game, players can trade equipment privately; players who collaborate together will even establish trade unions, which in turn gives birth to the rules and cultures within different groups.

Of course, from the perspective of the meta universe, what “World of Warcraft” involves is quite elementary, but the virtual game world “Oasis” conceived by the movie “Number One Player” released in 2018 is actually very close to the meta universe. The simplest and most direct way the universe should be. Oasis not only provides players with a realistic sensory experience, it also has a complete social form, commercial economic norms, and digital content and items can be bought and sold.

It is not difficult to find that in the process of the concept and formation of the meta universe, the game has always been the field closest to the imagination, and it is also the starting point for most meta universe companies at this stage. From the actual situation, whether it is Tencent, Byte, or Zhongqingbao , Tianxia Show, and Jiachuang Video , the business of these companies is mostly related to the game, e-sports, and animation sectors. The way they enter the meta universe includes the launch of meta Universe games, providing massive IP for Metaverse, creating Metaverse access points in offline scenarios, and so on.

On this basis, players gradually integrate functions such as the Internet, digital entertainment, and social networks, and can even integrate social economic and commercial activities. In the future, with the help of brain-computers, people’s thinking can even enter the virtual world. Social and entertainment forms will evolve from text and video to real-time interaction. People will evolve from a screen name and an image to a body that can be manipulated in the virtual world. Yuan to build the universe according to the virtual space might computing speed, the speed of the human brain thinking timed separately, the speed of evolution of civilization beyond the real world, even as the yuan universe Zaowu Zhu as to create a world.

This is undoubtedly a huge attraction for human beings who are subject to many restrictions in the real world. Therefore, the expression “meta universe is the future of the Internet” has been accepted by most people. Otherwise, it would be difficult to explain the capital market and entrepreneurs. Why is the enthusiasm with the public opinion so high?

Meta-universe anxiety

In the entire meta-universe boom, Tencent and Byte are the most enthusiastic about this concept in China.

For example, Tencent is already a shareholder of Roblox, the first stock of Metaverse, and holds 40% of the shares of Metaverse game company Epic. In addition, Tencent has also applied for the registration of nearly a hundred meta-universe-related trademarks, such as “anti-war meta-universe”, “tencent music meta-universe”, “peace elite meta-universe”, “oasis Qi-yuan universe”, “king meta-universe”, and “tian dollar universe”. Wait.

Earlier, some users broke the news that Tianmei Studio is preparing for a cross-platform 3A masterpiece (high-cost, high-volume, and high-quality games), which will target the virtual community “oasis” in the movie “Number One Player”.

The reason for Tencent’s enthusiasm is largely due to the growth anxiety of its gaming business. In the first three quarters of this year, Tencent Games’ revenue growth rate was 17%, 12% and 8% respectively. Especially in the third quarter, the growth rate was much lower than the market’s consensus expectation of more than 10%.

What’s the reason? Although “Peace Elite” and “King of Glory ” are still booming and revenue is still strong, these two games have been born for 6 years, and they have entered the end of their life cycle. In these six years, Tencent Games But no top national game comparable to it has been born. In order to regain high growth, Tencent can only cast the Internet widely. It does mobile games, e-sports, VR, solo games, cloud games, and 3A. In recent years, Tencent has been involved in almost every game. field. In 2021 alone, Tencent completed nearly 80 investment in game projects, and nearly one-third of the investment targets were overseas game studios.

This anxiety is also present in another Internet giant byte beating deep inside.

Not long ago, beating byte disclosed in the past six months to stop its domestic advertising revenue growth, which is open since 2013 started business since industrialization first appeared. You know, in 2020, bytedance ads account for up to 77%. Now that advertising revenue has stopped growing, it may mean that its revenue growth has slowed overall.

In fact, this concern has always existed. As early as 2018, Bytedance began to target the game business known as the cash cow. As of the first half of the year, Bytedance’s game business has expanded to more than 10 studios and 29 companies. , The total number of employees reached 2,000. In terms of investing and acquiring game companies, Byte is comparable to Tencent Games. Only with the acquisition of Mutong Technology, there are media reports that ByteDance has spent between US$4 billion and US$8 billion in funding.

At the end of August this year, ByteDance just spent 9 billion yuan to acquire the domestic VR hardware brand Pico (Little Bird Look). As early as March, some media revealed that ByteDance was independently developing cloud AI chips and Arm. Server chip. There are various signs that Bytedance is accelerating the overall deployment of Metaverse, especially the natural close relationship between Metaverse and the game business, which makes BYTE’s investment enthusiasm high.

Similar anxiety also exists in the international giant Facebook. In July of this year, Zuckerberg announced that Facebook will transform into a meta-universe company within 5 years, and work in the field of VR. At the end of October, Facebook officially changed its name to Meta. Behind this is the market pressure from Douyin and TikTok. The latest data released by Sensor Tower shows that in October 2021, Douyin and TikTok had more than 57 million downloads, ranking first in the world’s most popular mobile app downloads. In fact, TikTok has been the world’s non-gaming mobile app since February this year. Download the champion.

However, unlike the growth anxiety of Internet giants, the enthusiasm of domestic listed companies is more “simple”-to collect money.

According to the company’s data, as of November 17, there were 4,368 domestic applications for the “Yuan Universe” trademark, involving 689 companies; 4,366 applications were filed in 2021, involving 688 companies. In other words, 99.9% of the “Yuan Universe” trademarks were registered and applied in 2021. On a month-by-month basis, there were 1995 applications for the “Yuan Universe” trademark in September this year, and 1,515 applications for the “Yuan Universe” trademark in October, marking the two peak months of trademark applications this year.

Behind the craze for trademark applications is the enthusiasm for cashing in the entire capital market. For example, the ancient Internet celebrity “Talking Tom Cat” has become a meta universe concept stock because it belongs to a virtual IP. In September this year, the company Jinke Culture , a company of Tom Cat, realized its share price by changing its name to “Tom Cat”. 60% increase. Subsequently, the familiar cash-out exited. The disclosure showed that on November 3 and 4, Tom Cat’s controlling shareholder Jinke Holdings and its controlling shareholder Zhu Zhigang reduced their holdings by a total of 34.99 million shares, and the amount of cash arbitrage was about 150 million yuan.

On November 20, the A-share Meta Universe concept plate had a net sale of 3.653 billion yuan on that day. Statistics show that since September, 14 of the 77 stocks in the Metaverse concept sector have issued plans to reduce their holdings by executives or actual controllers, and the total number of shares to be reduced is 357 million shares. So far, one company has completed its shareholding reduction, and 13 companies are still in progress.

It can be said that the Internet industry giants value the business opportunities and growth potential behind Metaverse, which has an infinite boost to supplement its gradual slowing down of its main business, and most listed companies and startups value this more. The marketing premium capabilities behind the concept seem to have become a standard feature. Words such as “exploratory stage” and “uncertainty” in business are also standard words used by many companies when responding to letters of concern.

How far is the meta universe?

To answer the question of when the meta-universe can be realized, how to realize the meta-universe is definitely an inescapable question.

In essence, the bottom layer of Metaverse consists of infrastructure and terminal hardware devices, including but not limited to: human-computer interaction, design tools, game rendering, screen rendering, privacy computing, AI, industrial Internet, smart contracts, etc. On this basis, Metaverse also needs a lot of software and technology collaboration, including but not limited to: 5G, 6G, cloud computing, blockchain nodes, edge computing nodes, DPU, etc. On the user side, necessary hardware such as routers, sensors, chips, VR headsets, displays, etc. are required.

Only after these conditions are met can the Metaverse derive corresponding applications. That is to say, the cooperation between the technology side, the content side, and the carrier side is the key to the realization of the Metaverse. Wanjia Fund believes that for the explosion of Metaverse, from the hardware side, it shows that the domestic industrial chain is gradually maturing, such as the VR foundry link, such as VR/AR optical components, structural parts and other companies are gradually seeing The landing of some orders.

In fact, even so, there are still not many people who are optimistic that Metaverse will be able to land in the short term. Some insiders pointed out that the metaverse industry is far from reaching the ideal state of full industry coverage, ecological openness, economic self-consistent, and virtual and actual interoperability. There is still a long way to go in terms of technology, law, and ethics. go.

Zuo Pengfei, secretary-general of the Information Research Center of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, pointed out that “Meta Universe is currently in its infancy, and it will take about 10-20 years to enter the growth stage. In addition to technical bottlenecks, Meta Universe is mainly faced with operational order and privacy. Security and many other challenges.”

It can be seen that most of the outside world’s concerns about Metaverse focus on the technical level, content level, and regulatory level. From a technical point of view, artificial intelligence, VR, blockchain technology…These technical terms have been watched by hundreds of millions of people in the past few years. It is firmly bound to the currency circle and is far from realizing the original vision. VR technology has repeatedly faced bottlenecks.

In the meta-universe vision, VR equipment assumes the role of entrance and is one of the core devices for people to enter the meta-universe. As early as 2015 to 2016, more than 1,000 VR companies received angel round investment, but many companies have transformed or died after the A round of financing. Up to now, “Nausea after watching for a long time” is still people’s first feeling after experiencing VR.

At present, several Internet companies that have announced their entry, such as Microsoft , Facebook, iQiyi , Byte, etc., are deploying their VR devices as the entrance to the meta universe. But as far as the current real demand is concerned, the annual shipment of VR manufacturers is about 10 million units, which is quite obvious for Metaverse. Moreover, even now, the price of VR products that have fallen is still as high as about 3,000 yuan, which is expensive for players. This directly determines that VR can only become a toy for a few people, which further restricts the content of VR. Development.

In fact, in addition to the development of the VR meta-universe, a large number of sensors are needed to seamlessly collaborate and interact with the human body. In other words, players must make a very large investment if they want to truly enter the meta-universe.

On the content side, taking the world’s largest number of users of the game platform Steam as an example, data as of July 2021 shows that the total number of games on the platform exceeds 50,000, but VR games account for only 12%, and the number of players is the highest. None of the games are of VR type. Let’s look at Roblox, which is in the limelight. There is still a significant distance from the realization of the meta-universe. At this stage, Roblox is closer to the game UGC platform.

Therefore, Huang Tianwei, chairman of Anwei Holding Group, once said: “In two years, you will find that the final thing that has been fired for a long time in Metaverse, may be just wearing glasses and sitting with colleagues from other places in a meeting. Or play an immersive Contra game with a toy gun. Because this is the upper limit of the current technology.”

In addition, even if the meta-universe can be realized at the technical and content level, how many players can be immersed in a virtual world parallel to the real world? Liu Cixin once bluntly said that the meta universe is a highly tempting and highly hallucinogenic “spiritual opium.” After all, the basic material and spiritual needs of human beings still grow in the real world, and the powerful attraction of the virtual world is still relative to the younger users. The daily necessities of ordinary people, the work of marriage and love, and the realization of self-worth cannot be completed by the virtual world. What’s more, in terms of the current Roblox user reward mechanism, it is far from rich.

Moreover, this is still without considering regulatory factors such as security and privacy. In this regard, countries in the world are still at a blank stage. Therefore, a relevant person from a domestic game giant said, “The form of the so-called’meta universe’ game is still the rudimentary form, even Roblox.” “If it is not for hype, there is no need for companies to announce that they are still under development. Game plan .” “Meta universe is still’cutting leeks.'”

On the whole, the meta-universe at this stage is just a beautiful science fantasy. Whether it is at the technical level, content level, or future market level, it still faces many uncertain factors. The crowded entry of Internet giants is only a tentative search for future business opportunities under the anxiety of growth, while ordinary listed companies and entrepreneurs are more focused on “leeks”, like Tianxia Show, there is no technical reserve and The business progress, but the misleading behavior of investors is just the beginning.

This scene is similar to the VR wave five years ago.

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