The metaverse has potential to transform the way we work, socialize, party and even do business — but looking at the infrastructure that exists right now, and some would accuse this industry of running before it can even walk.
Many virtual worlds are making bold promises about what they plan to achieve in the years to come, yet lack a tangible product people can try out now. Even those that have launched often suffer from poor graphics, a disappointing user experience, or a lack of quality content. This is a bigger problem than meets the eye. If a customer's first impression of a metaverse is one of disappointment or frustration, they probably won't be back in a hurry.
As things stand, many big brands and A-list celebrities are scrambling to get involved with the metaverse — but the platforms in the market are failing to meet the moment. For a sign of the momentum that this industry is enjoying, look no further than MTV's VMAs, which even had an award category for best metaverse performance. The nominees included Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Charli XCX and the South Korean pop sensation BTS.
Earlier this year, JPMorgan estimated that the metaverse could be an exceedingly lucrative opportunity that delivers $1 trillion in yearly revenues. Immersive concerts once held in major cities could take place in the comfort of a fan's home, without a gig ever selling out. Stunning virtual offices could propel working from home to the next level. And we're already seeing how top sportswear brands are making a fortune by selling rare digital sneakers.
For such lofty predictions to become a reality, metaverse worlds need to factor into the day-to-day lives of the consumers they're meant to serve — and deliver the "wow factor." They have to provide an engaging experience that makes going online feel dynamic and alive. This will create a loop that fuels growth. Greater user numbers will encourage more businesses to build in the space, and in turn, their arrival will attract even more users.
Creating an unforgettable experience
Metropolis World is one project that's vying to ensure the metaverse industry lives up to its full potential. Its virtual landscape boasts stunning art, a marketplace that bridges the digital and the physical, as well as a packed itinerary of curated programming and events. A self-sufficient community takes pride in building a unique ecosystem for each city, while gamification and quality content make exploring this platform a delight.
The project told Cointelegraph: "We are different from other metaverse worlds which are theoretical with poor user experiences and low-grade content. Instead we are providing an engaging environment which makes the online experience feel dynamic and alive. We are about creating a compelling ecosystem that people want to explore from the ground up."
To make this happen, Metropolis World has raised more than $1 million from high-profile investors — with a list of founding citizens that represents a who's who of the industry. Steve Aoki, Dillon Francis, Meltem Demirors, 3LAU are just some of those already involved. And what's more, a partnership with Flare Network delivers interoperability.
An immersive website and a debut city have been lovingly built — and looking ahead, Metropolis World is determined to ensure the remaining five cities in its ecosystem are constructed to the same standard using Unreal Engine. Dynamic avatars are going to be rolled out to users too — meaning it'll never have been easier to move between your URL and IRL self.
Why metaverses matter
The early days of the internet were a magical place. Large, centralized social networks were nowhere to be seen — meaning many users had their very own corner of the web. Countless forums for every hobby and interest conceivable popped up. Whether you wanted to learn more about railways in the early 20th century, or debate which songs were best on David Bowie's album, there was always a place where you could be yourself — and meet like-minded people.
Done right, the metaverse has the potential to replicate this special era — allowing us to celebrate our identities, pursue our passions, and take back control of our data. Virtual worlds can empower us with the chance to get creative, build special things, and experience cultural events we could once only dream of. There was once a time that our geographies meant we were excluded from seeing breathtaking exhibitions and concerts, but the metaverse removes these limitations once and for all. Thousands of miles away from your favorite band? That no longer matters.
Metropolis World says the order of the day is substance and style — a metaverse done right. And their vision is irresistible. Imagine traversing a hanging bridge across two towers and watching a live show in an open-air concert hall, before wandering to your favorite book club.
In the months and years to come, the metaverse promises to transform the way we live our lives — giving us opportunities we could once only dream of. But there's work to be done before we get there.
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