Although big tech has recently been throwing money at what it calls the "metaverse", it is still struggling to define what it actually is, how it differs from games with virtual worlds and other digital experiences, and how it adds value to our lives. Meta has pivoted to metaverse development and launched Horizon Worlds where it imposes a 47.5% tax on items sold, Microsoft randomly throws the term around from time to time, and Sony and Lego's parent company has poured $2 billion into Epic Games as its big bet on the metaverse too.
However, it seems that these firms are still finding it difficult to engage younger audiences, which should ideally be the most interested in virtual worlds considering their similarities to what is already present in games. A Piper Sandler survey of 7,100 teens in the U.S. revealed that less than 50% had an interest in buying hardware to access the metaverse. 9% stated that they would probably purchase it at some point while 26% already own capable hardware. Out of the latter, only 5% respondents visit the metaverse daily while 82% visit it less than a few times a month.
A similar survey from analytics firm Morning Consult revealed that less than half of surveyed Gen Z respondents are interested in Meta's metaverse. Furthermore, only 11% had ever traded cryptocurrencies while 8% had ever purchased NFTs.
It remains to be seen if big tech will be able to engage younger audiences in their respective versions of the metaverse as development in this area matures and there is a clearer understanding of what the term actually means, both for developers as well as consumers. For now though, it seems that big tech has a long road ahead of it, should the metaverse actually materialize into anything tangible for the mainstream audience.
Source: Piper Sandler, Morning Consult | Via: Fast Company
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