Mark Zuckerberg has recently made headlines all over the world as he announced the name change of the Facebook group of companies to Meta. He said that this was because he wanted to create the metaverse. He then went on to show the different parts of the metaverse and what features he would be focusing on.
More than a little bit cheeky if one considers that the metaverse has actually been for quite a few years through the efforts of other companies. If Mark hasn’t realized it – Meta is a little late to the metaverse.
The Other Big Winning Players
Changing the name of Facebook to Meta doesn’t mean that Mark now has control of the metaverse – as much as he thinks so. There are other giants that have toiled to get things where they are today. These giants range from hardware manufacturers to software developers. In this article we will show just exactly who has actually created the metaverse and who controls the various parts of it. Because as you can imagine, it’s not such a small space.
#1 The Other Virtual Worlds
Games are not a new concept at all, neither is playing them online. However, there have been huge strides in the number of people playing them. There are currently over 6 billion players in the top 10 games alone. That is a huge number! Yes, there will be many players that play a few games each, but the fact that they spend time in each of them adds up.
According to the latest internet data, there are over 2.5 Billion people in virtual worlds at any one time. This is what is known as the virtual world. Of which there are actually many. Games like Player Unknown: Battlegrounds, Crossfire and Dungeon Fighter are all real world examples of this and how vast the virtual world already is.
All of the games above are owned by Tencent – who also owns WeChat, qq, Spotify and 40% of Epic Games. They are a giant in the world of crating virtual worlds. The other massive creators are those who made worlds like Fortnite, MineCraft and Roblox (who have over 30 million players a day).
Meta only has over 2 million users through its VR headset or roughly 0.2% of people who currently play in virtual worlds. They are late to the virtual world.
#2 The Tool Builders
To make the virtual world, there are companies who have created the tools to do so. These tool builders are mainly just Unity and Unreal.
In the last year, Unity’s IPO tripled in value to over $43 Billion USD with over 5 million new projects per month! Without their technology, many virtual worlds wouldn’t exist. Consider this, over half of Android and Apple games are all based on the Unity engine. Their biggest projects include Pokemon Go and Call of Duty Mobile.
Created by Epic games, EPIC games’ CEO talked about how Facebook had so many followers who then had to start paying through ads. This became Facebook’s monetization method. When businesses realized this, they became trapped.
For example, a car maker in the metaverse isn’t going to create cars by running ads in the metaverse, rather they are going to have drop a car in and get people to drive it. They will then need to utilize the skills of a variety of content creators that will be able to pool their skills together to create a car that will want to drive and enjoy.
Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple has said that we are currently in a closed platform wave. Which is currently being ridden by the likes of itself (Apple) and of course, Google. Very soon people and companies are going to realize that they have been taken advantage of in the last 10 years.
So what does this boil down to essentially? It’s very simple. Meta is not building the tools for the metaverse. They don’t hold any sway over in that department. Which means they’ve already lost out.
As the companies above are already big enough in their own right to stand up to Meta. So it can be seen that no one wants to use Meta to build these platforms, and quite frankly, no one needs them to – as they are already quite late to the party.
#3 The Hardware Builders
Now that we can see that Mark has lost the race to develop the software tools, what about the hardware? We all know that Facebook bought the Oculus VR for just over $2 Billion USD in 2014. And currently that VR headset has become the best-selling VR headset currently to date.
Unfortunately, we can clearly see that Mark is also too late here. You see, the internet took off with the laptop and the mobile internet with mobile devices. While the metaverse has already started taking off with gaming pcs and mobile phones – not VR headsets.
And the reason for this is quite simple, all the people using pcs and phones can access the 3D metaverse with a 2D screen. Making it much easier to access than with a headset.
Currently the data is showing that 45% percent of metaverse users are accessing it via mobile phones and just over 30% by gaming consoles and 25% by pcs. This shows the domination of the hardware market that is not VR headsets.
And what makes the gap between VR headsets and other hardware even bigger is 5G. 5G is already 100 times faster than 4G and gives us seamless access to the metaverse wherever we are. Which means that the metaverse can grow.
So, if people are not willing to wear clunky VR headsets. Who is the leader in the hardware department?
Nvidia – The top Dog
The answer is very easy. If you’re into playing any types of games on the PC, you will know about them. They make the graphic processing units (GPUs) that make the visuals work for all the gaming devices.
The growth of the GPU has risen due to how it overshadows the standard CPUs. Nvidia since investing in the technology has seen their growth double every year compared to the metaverses’ doubling every two years.
The other two winners in the hardware department on Sony’s PlayStation and Microsoft’s Xbox gaming consoles. What makes this even more interesting is that Sony is also an owner of EPIC games. Which means that they are ahead of Meta in terms of software and hardware. How far ahead? Well, to put this into perspective, there have been over a billion gaming consoles sold. Compare that to the VR Oculus headset that has just over 5 million sales. That’s how far ahead gaming consoles are of Meta.
Microsoft are also ahead of Meta on the console side of things as they had decided to focus on large business corporations and governments assets instead of the general public – a very different strategy. Microsoft was able to clinch a deal with US Army where they would provide the Hololens VR headsets to soldiers for over $22 Billions USD. Not bad at all. Especially considering that that deal alone is worth over 10 times the amount of sales that the Oculus is expected to reach this year alone.
So, as we can see; Facebook’s attempt to get in on the hardware market comes in a little too late.
#4 Everyone Else
Then there is the biggest player of all – everyone else. Yes, that is people like you and me. People who take part in Bitcoin and art NFTs. The general public. And that is thanks to many other companies not even listed above.
This currently has been the biggest factor in everyday people taking part in the metaverse. We all know how Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have become mainstream in most parts of the world. This has helped push the drive to a more realistic virtual reality.
Riding on the Crypto boom was NFts, especially in the last year. Many more companies have taken cues from each other and adapted their portfolio to match the current trends that people were jumping on. Not all trends are sustained, but what does take place is change. And that change is what drives the metaverse – as hard as Mark tries to convince us it is Facebook
As we can see above, the metaverse has been around for a very long time. It is not a new concept at all. Mark has claimed that they are going to control it and show people the possibilities t offers. So far, the only thing that he has done is bring to light was has already been there for years.
The metaverse has been doing well before Meta came along, and by all indications it will continue to do so. Does Meta stand a chance? I think we can all agree that it is indeed, late to the party.