This February, The Fintech Times is taking a deep dive into the world of gametech. Grab your headsets and controllers and plug in to hear about the latest tech and celebrities influencing the market to the development of eSports and much more.
Having established what the metaverse is and its relationship with gaming, we now shift our focus towards looking at brands in the metaverse and how they can compete with one another, especially through the use of celebrities.
Caleb Applegate, COO at Enjin establishes there is no ‘one metaverse’ rather, a variety of metaverses, “Brands ‘co-existing’ in the metaverse implies that there will be one singular digital environment, akin to the OASIS of the sci-fi film Ready Player One. So far, just about every company announcing a metaverse—from NVIDIA, to Meta, to Disney, to Enjin—has had a different definition, none of them mutually exclusive.
“As interoperability between blockchains grows and other barriers to entry dissolve, it’s far more likely that you’ll see big tech firms host their own digital experiences. In the future, we’re likely to see many types of metaverses, with strategic collaborations and bridges between some, and parent corporations leveraging their brands in the same digital space. Disney, for example, is free to make a digital theme park with Star Wars, Pixar, and Marvel IP.
“In a way, the world has been primed for this following a steady trend of mergers and acquisitions, with more and more brands being brought under one umbrella.”
An example of this can be seen between Microsoft and Sony. Despite cross-platform being included in most games released, Microsoft’s recent purchase of Activision Blizzard for $68.7billion has meant Microsoft now has the right to make these games exclusive, meaning Sony Playstation players will not have access to them. Whilst digital assets within Activision games will be able to be seen and accessed in other Microsoft owned games, like titles created by Mojang, this metaverse will not interact with Sony’s and its exclusives. The two will live side by side digitally, as they have done in reality.
Celebrity endorsements can have a big impact on which brands survives. What has become extremely prevalent in the last few years is the emergence of NFTs and their place within the metaverse.
Anthony Georgiades, Co-Founder of Pastel Network said, “Celebrities have discovered that NFTs offer them a unique marketing advantage: NFTs allow them to forge special relationships with their fans and build a strong, long-lasting community around their brand. By creating an NFT collection that is exclusive to fans, or through which buyers get exclusive access to upcoming news, drops, or clubs, celebrities are effectively making their fans feel special. This community-building aspect that is inherent to NFTs is also another avenue to engage with new fans in a fresh and exciting way. While more and more big names are getting involved, the entrance of celebrities into the NFT space is still very newsworthy and attracts a lot of attention and press coverage.
A variety of celebrities have released their own NFTs following the success of Bored Ape Yacht Club, Axie Infinity, and Cryptopunks. Celebrities have purchased these NFTs to be a part of these exclusive communities, and have seen an opportunity for their fans to get a similar experience. In creating an NFT community with their fans, celebrities are able to connect with them on a more personal level: an example of this can be seen by Lewis Capaldi, who assured a variety of perks to fans who owned an NFT like backstage viewings of concerts and meet and greets. Robert Cooke, co-founder of Chain Enable pointed out the importance of brands capitalising NFTs saying, “There are huge opportunities for brands to connect with niche and dedicated demographics and communities.”
Georgiades continued, “As far as the metaverse goes, we will see this burgeoning industry attract brands from many different industries. They will live side by side as they do in the physical world – healthy competition will exist between them as they strive to build a significant customer base in the virtual world. Online shopping, for example, will be really exciting for people as they can virtually try on clothes. That doesn’t mean that one clothing brand will dominate the Metaverse – many will enter and attract shoppers all over the world.”