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Metaverse Needs More Than VR Christmas Bump

The Metaverse is a collective virtual shared space, a product of the internet and the gaming industry. This new digital space is gaining traction, especially with the VR Christmas Bump this past year. But what else does the Metaverse need to reach true potential?

This article will explore what the Metaverse needs to take the next step in digital evolution.

What is the metaverse?

The metaverse, first coined by author Neal Stephenson in his cult classic novel, Snow Crash, is an interconnected virtual world built around a shared set of rules and principles. The metaverse encompasses an all-encompassing online experience and comprises countless interlinking digital environments where people can interact with each other in real time. It draws from gaming culture, fantasy literature, sci-fi movies, anime cartoons, and many more sources to create a platform for creating immersive experiences – fueling education, communication, collaboration and entertainment for users.

At its core the metaverse is an expansive network of human experiences – generating social connections far beyond the confines of our traditional physical spaces. User avatars are representations that can collaborate in shared virtual worlds and explore uniquely tailored built environments including replicated cities or other distant locations. Furthermore this also extends to virtual items such as currency or collectibles – allowing users to purchase or trade goods with others within their respective metaverses. Historically exclusive to gaming cultures the rise of user created platforms such as Roblox has seen the introduction of these concepts into the mainstream due to its highly accessible nature – restructuring the way we communicate and engage with one another online.

What is the current state of the metaverse?

The current state of the metaverse can be categorised into three distinct groups — early adopters, open platforms, and big players. Early adopters are pioneering the way with user-generated content and alternative revenue models, adapting existing technology to create groundbreaking experiences which often stand in stark contrast to built-top down, ‘big player’ offerings. Examples of these businesses include AltspaceVR, High Fidelity and Sansar. These platforms allow users to visit digital versions of popular locations (real or imaginary), attend digital events such as concerts or plays, and even create in-game economic systems based on virtual goods such as tokenized currencies, luxury items and limited edition objects.

Open platforms offer a different type of experience than their counterparts — typically seen as more experimental and less inhibited by expectations concerning how games should look/function — and allow individuals to develop more unique applications based on specific needs or interests in a self-directed manner without worrying about the needs/requirements of large platform holders like Facebook, Microsoft or Google. OpenSimulator (or simply ‘OpenSIM’) is an example of an open platform for developing virtual worlds outside of those owned by the big players. Instead, smaller startups like Verses use blockchain-based tech architectures to create immersive experiences within Virtual Reality (VR) environments both online and offline.

Finally, big players are those companies who have prioritised investment into metaverse technology from an early stage — usually due to strength in other related areas such as gaming or enterprise products — including Facebook’s Oculus/Horizon initiative and Spaces products; Valve’s Steam VR; Microsoft FlightSim with its robust open source SDKs; Google’s Daydream platform; Samsung Gear VR Explorer Edition; HTC VIVEPORT; Google Earth VR; Netflix’ recently announced augmented reality project extension Centopia; Apple’s ARKit project Reality Composer launched in 2019 that powers augmented reality experiences on Apple devices ; Amazon’s own metaverse projects including Lumberyard /Double Helix Games suite of tools for game developers; Sony’s Playstation Home offering virtual world experience back in 2008; HP Reverb G2 which was [recently released]; etc… … Each offers its own version of the metaverse with uniquely customisable avatars allowing people from all walks to engage with newfound communities ranging from education & learning initiatives to creative studios & entertainment playscapes … So it seems the sky is indeed not even close to being the limit!

The Christmas Bump

As Christmas approaches, many virtual reality (VR) enthusiasts have their eyes set on the metaverse hoping for a surge in VR use. But is a VR Christmas bump all the metaverse needs?

Let’s have a closer look into what the metaverse needs and how this holiday season could potentially impact the development of the metaverse.

How the holiday season impacts the metaverse

The holiday season has undeniable impacts on the metaverse. This time of year typically marks a significant spike in the popularity of immersive media technology, and this trend has only been accelerating in recent years.

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As consumers look for gift ideas for their family and friends, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR) technologies often become top choices. Additionally, the influx of new users presents grand opportunities for businesses to increase their presence in the metaverse this season — especially since consumers are actively searching for solutions that combine entertainment, education, and marketing in an immersive package.

So while it’s clear that many companies benefit from holiday pandemic-proof spending sprees, that’s not the only way these industries can take advantage of this unique time of year. There is an abundance of creative marketing tactics brands can leverage to promote their products more efficiently than ever due to advancements in technology-enabled solutions such as haptic feedback systems and more immersive advertising experiences.

From enticing seasonal discounts to leveraging newer customer acquisition strategies centred on engagement — such as gamified email campaigns — there are multiple ways that businesses can make the most out of this holiday season by tapping into the metaverse’s growing popularity among consumers. In doing so, they can ensure a long-lasting impact beyond just a Christmas bump.*

The potential for growth

The potential for growth in the metaverse is greater than a temporary Christmas bump. As virtual and augmented reality become increasingly integrated into people’s lives, the metaverse will become a part of daily life, rather than just for holiday entertainment.

It won’t be like buying a toy and setting it aside after the holidays; consumers will use VR and AR to communicate, reshape their environment, learn from one another and live out their fantasies in various ways. And businesses that can capitalise on this growth potential stand to gain significantly.

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The most important factor is understanding what consumers want from their metaverse experiences. Doing your research, including user feedback sessions, can help uncover trends that you can use to shape product direction and create unique offerings that stand out in an otherwise crowded field of competitors. Understanding whether users will likely return for repeat visits or buy additional features can help you identify areas where more investment could yield better results.

Finally, exploring other areas where VR technology can be applied outside the gaming world like education, medicine or tourism is important for greatest success in rapidly emerging markets like the metaverse. This means looking closely at developing technologies like haptics, positional tracking and interactive storytelling that bring new levels of realism and engagement to virtual experiences to maximise long-term interest and adoption rates among tech savvy students who have grown up with video games as mainstream entertainment rather than special occasions only activities such as Christmas time fun.


While the recent influx of users to the metaverse due to its surge in popularity during the holiday season may seem like a boon, the challenges this influx of users bring are still present.

The metaverse needs more than just a VR Christmas bump to continue to be successful, and its key challenges must be addressed to maintain its rapid growth. These challenges include but are not limited to technological limitations, market saturation, and scalability issues.

Lack of content

One of the greatest challenges to the growth of the metaverse is the lack of content. While early adopters have largely been willing to spend time in virtual worlds for socialising and entertainment, creating a space attractive to a larger and more diverse market requires much more than an immersive environment.

Creating content that is both accessible and compelling poses a challenge to developers who often lack resources, expertise, or imagination. Building meaningful experiences requires extensive knowledge in computer-generated graphics, artificial intelligence algorithms, and interactive user interfaces. Unfortunately, the current tech stack state is limited by hardware capability, leaving devs with difficult choices about how much content they can create efficiently.

This makes it especially difficult for smaller developers to produce experiences on par with corporate-funded projects or AAA titles from large studios with huge budgets. As metaverse development progresses and technology improves, these obstacles must be addressed for VR adoption rates to continue into mainstream consciousness.

Lack of user engagement

One of the primary challenges in developing a successful metaverse is user engagement. Once the initial buzz created by novel features or offerings wears off, it is difficult to continue attracting users while maintaining their engagement. Creating a lasting impression is one of the biggest obstacles faced by developers and can be done by creating an ergodic landscape or rewarding user engagement through loyalty programs or in-game incentives. It can also be retained by adjusting game settings to increase difficulty and keep users engaged over extended periods without growing bored. The right mix of difficulty progression, events and rewards will go a long way towards ensuring people remain engaged with metaverse experiences.

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Additionally, cultivating a community atmosphere is essential for sustaining engagement, as it creates social bonds within the gaming environment that drive continued interest from users over time.

Limited access to hardware

One of the biggest problems faced in the development of a metaverse is limited access to the necessary hardware. For example, the Oculus Quest and Valve Index can be quite inaccessible for the general public due to their high price-points and availability constraints. This presents a challenge for developers because it means that fewer consumers have access to their platform, making it difficult to reach a wide audience.

Aside from the cost barriers, users may also face technical difficulties accessing mono-detailed headsets like the Oculus Go and Google Cardboard. Both of these only offer low-resolution experiences, which can be significantly less immersive than those delivered by higher-end hardware platforms. Additionally, some users may still not understand how to properly set up and operate their headset, making for a cumbersome experience that impedes on the technological benefits of virtual reality.

The limited access to hardware is an issue inhibiting consumer uptake and rapid progress in developing new applications and use cases in the metaverse space. VR headsets need to become more ubiquitous to make them more widely accessible – monetizing through game content offers promise but remains unproven at larger scales. Furthermore, educational institutions should take proactive measures in training users to ensure they can easily navigate between virtual worlds without prior knowledge or experience with headset technology.


The Metaverse is due for a much-needed Christmas bump as we approach the holiday season. This could come in the form of new content, increasing user engagement, or monetizing elements of the Metaverse.

There are a plethora of opportunities that can benefit the Metaverse, let’s take a look at how they can be put into action.

New technologies

The development of new technologies is key to stimulating growth in the metaverse. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have been making waves across the gaming industry, attracting more people from different walks of life to explore the prospects offered by this medium. However, there is more to new technologies than meets the eye. From AI-driven virtual environments that enable naturalistic interaction between characters and objects within a game world, to wearable devices that can enhance physical activity, developers are constantly experimenting with modalities that push usability and engagement beyond traditional gaming experiences.

As such, there are mounting opportunities for developers to leverage existing tools and platforms such as Unity or Unreal Engine 4 into creating interactive virtual experiences that blur the lines between games and reality. Furthermore, advances in artificial intelligence (AI) are slowly but surely bringing us closer to having lifelike simulations powered by autonomous agents deep within a game’s engine. At the same time, blockchain networks offer promises of true ownership and safer interactions within decentralised environments.

Finally, companies like Magic Leap offer exciting possibilities for merging physical space with virtual elements and utilising gesture-based input for immersive applications on different platforms. By combining these technologies with innovative game design elements hidden levels of engagement can be unlocked which puts us on the doorstep of unprecedented levels of immersion in user’s interaction with non-physical entities in games.

Increased user engagement

The remarkable surge in user engagement from the hype of major releases and product launches will eventually dwindle, as the novelty wears thin and users move on to the next shiny virtual world. However, several opportunities are available as companies look for ways to keep players engaged longer.

The first is to design engaging content that users experience regularly within their personalised metaverse environment. This could include immersive activities, tutorials, mini-games, puzzles or story events that provide new levels of interactivity and connected gameplay experiences in a metaverse. Content should be tailored to suit the individual player’s tastes or preferences so they can enjoy an engaging gaming experience over an extended period. Regular content updates should help users return for new experiences with each visit.

A second opportunity lies in expanding social elements within these metaverses that enable users to connect with friends outside of their gaming sessions by messaging, leaderboards or other active interaction similar to social media networks. Gamers may also benefit from access communities or public spaces where they can congregate in “islands” of similar-minded people or hang out with larger groups such as clubs for avatars with particular interests or hobbies like music production or virtual tourism. Beyond this there is potential for more sophisticated applications such as e-commerce stores allowing players to purchase vanity items and tools using real world currency converting their gaming into real life monetary value on top virtual assets. By offering these avenues to monetize customization and creativity there is potential for greater user retention and longer play times in the metaverse communities which could translate into a lucrative network effect if developed correctly.

Greater access to hardware

The statement “the metaverse needs more than a VR Christmas bump” refers to the fact that the growth of the metaverse will not happen simply because people buy virtual reality (VR) headsets over the Christmas holiday season. Instead, to experience a real “metaverse”, there needs to be much greater access to hardware, content, and participation.

Currently, many are feeling constrained by the price of entry for a high-end VR headset. Therefore, more companies and developers must increase their efforts in delivering affordable tools between high-end and low-end options currently on the market. This may come in the form of all-in-one designs which bundle up all required hardware into a single unit, or promote standalone lower end models that better represent cost and performance balance points compared to top of the range tethered models considered as “premium” among existing offerings available.

Further opportunities exist within hardware onboarding where companies could aim toward greater simplicity in their setup procedures by limiting inputs needed before use. Removing any hefty external computer or positioning systems would also be beneficial to put less reliance on expensive batteries or associated infrastructure investments – all while remaining within comfortable budget ranges for consumer purchases over time.

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