Friday, July 22nd - 2022
Certain Web3 segments–here’s to you, crypto–suffered this week, but many positive developments occurred for the metaverse. New investors entered the space, and new pundits praised the concept’s potential. Best of all, reporters began acknowledging that the metaverse’s potential, outside of video games, best lied with… businesses and workplaces.
Tweet of the Week
Yes, the Care Bears are bullish, not bearish, on the metaverse!
And now on to the most important stories of the week…
The Most Important Stories of the Week
Summary: Akiko Fujito IA profiled IA Interior Architects designer Guy Mesnick. He previously designed retail spaces and offices, such as MasterCard’s tech hub and Uber’s New York office. After the pandemic, he began designing virtual metaverse workplaces. Fujito’s piece analyzes how people with different backgrounds, such as interior designers, are perfect for the metaverse. The reporter also breaks down how the metaverse’s biggest sector, outside of video games, is offices and the workplace.
Key Quote: “‘When we all went home a couple of years ago, we got immediate interest from clients who had worked with us, saying ‘well what about this extended reality stuff,’ said Messick, head of design technologies at IA Interior Architects. ‘Immediately the light went on and we said let’s leverage our experience in both design and this technology.’”
Summary: Outside magazine CEO announced the Outerverse, a new metaverse platform where readers can buy NFTs to then earn rewards for outdoor activities they complete in the real world. Once again, a marketing stunt conflates the metaverse with NFTs and crypto. The gimmick earned backlash from many people, including Coindesk, because it felt inauthentic. Like many legacy media companies, Outside is suffering economically, and it’s unclear how NFTs and a so-called metaverse will help fix the company’s problems.
Key Quote: “Their mission of diversifying the outdoors is a valiant one… but I don’t know that [NFTs are] it.”
Summary: Freelancer Lulu Chen explores China’s contradictory views on the metaverse. On the one hand, Tencent Holdings’s Pony Ma believes he invented the metaverse concept months before Mark Zuckerberg rebranded Facebook as meta. (Nevermind that technologists have been discussing the metaverse for years.) Others in China critique the metaverse because they believe the virtual environments will further distract people, leading to less procreation and less productivity in the manufacturing sector. At the same time, Chinese businesses trademarked 8,500 metaverse-related trademarks. The Chinese officials clearly see a potential monetary value to the metaverse, but they’re concerned about it’s impact on society–just as they were with Web2. It’s likely the metaverse will be different in China but also have a presence in the country.
Key Quote: “The metaverse will be a different story. While local government officials in cities like Shanghai seem to embrace the concept, announcing their intention to encourage its application in public services, social entertainment, games, and manufacturing, others are far less sanguine. Chinese economist Ren Zeping pointed out the dangers of a metaverse, accusing it of potentially causing lower marriage and birth rates—the logic being that if people are too busy entertaining themselves in the virtual world, they wouldn’t need to seek connections in the real one.”
Summary: Dubai announced plans to become one of the top ten metaverse countries in the world. Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed hopes to create 40,000 virtual jobs. The phrasing in the press releases is vague, conflating blockchain, crypto, and the metaverse as one concept. Metaverse projects are already occurring in Dubai, with Thumbay opening a metaverse hospital and Damac Group announcing digital cities. Time will tell if 40,000 jobs come to Dubai, considering the media announcement was vague.
Key Quote: “The plan, launched by Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, aims to support the government’s goal of increasing the number of blockchain companies by five times in five years. Dubai is already home to over 1,000 companies in the metaverse and blockchain sector, which contributes $500 million to the national economy, Sheikh Hamdan said.”
Summary: Ad trade publication MediaPost broke down the best ways for brands to market in the metaverse. Their key beliefs: 1) Focus on one unique metaverse project; 2) figure out how your company will use the metaverse now so you’re not late to the fame; and 3) evaluate the pros and cons of being an earlier adapter, so you can navigate the space better. Overall, they believe brands need to be focused as they enter the new marketing medium.
Key Quote: “Deploy one unique metaverse experience.”