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Is the Metaverse hype really dead?

Back in 2021, the Metaverse was big talk in tech circles. Facebook’s rebranding into Meta dominated headlines worldwide. For a while, it seemed the world was on the verge of a technological shift as revolutionary as the emergence of the internet.

Three years later, what remains of that Metaverse hype? The buzz has all but died out. This virtual world has fallen short of its futuristic promises, stifled by the unstoppable rise of AI. Is it dead in the water yet, however? While some tech observers have already pronounced its obituary, the concept is not quite as dormant nor obsolete as it seems.

A technology that still boasts firm believers

We’re still a long way from a fully immersive virtual world, but Metaverse initiatives have been holding ground as of late, particularly in the workplace. Following Meta’s ambitious rebranding, Microsoft had no sooner entered the Metaverse race. Microsoft Mesh did not take off immediately, as the idea of conducting business meetings in a digital setting with avatars doing the talking felt alien to most, if not plain unappealing.

The company persevered, and with the advancements of mixed-reality communication, the rise of remote working made the technology more desirable for corporations wishing to bolster team engagement. Just recently, the tech giant expanded the availability of this immersive workspace solution to all Microsoft Teams online video calls. Practically, remote workers can wear a Meta Quest VR headset to interact with their colleagues from a distance in a 3D environment.

The recent launch of Apple’s first spatial computer also helped rekindle the interest in the Metaverse, or so tech firms hope. Meta execs look favorably upon Apple Vision Pro, counting on the tech gadget to draw in more customers to their own product – which sells for a fraction of the price of Apple’s virtual goggles. Mark Zuckerberg himself hammered the point home, sticking to his Metaverse vision despite losing billions over its Reality Labs unit.

A virtual world with concrete use cases

The Metaverse has taken a hit but hasn’t gone down the drain yet. Several industries have embraced the technology. Nike was one of the first big names in the retail sector to delve into the Metaverse through a virtual store visited by over twenty million customers since its rollout. Additionally, the American sportswear retailer teamed up with Fortnite developers to introduce the “Airphoria” experience, enabling players to don exclusive outfits while gaming online.

This innovative direct-to-avatar business model is gaining momentum as brands increasingly shift their marketing focus towards digital assets, incorporating gamification to appeal to new demographics and revitalize their corporate image. Other companies are actively positioning themselves as Web3 trailblazers, such as Forbes establishing permanent land within The Sandbox blockchain-based world, designed to be a meeting point for innovators and leaders of the future.

The Metaverse shaking up the gaming sphere

Virtual estate is also up for grabs on Decentraland, a 3D Metaverse based on the Ethereum blockchain. This browser-based platform has partnered with gaming pioneers like Atari, inaugurating crypto casinos within its Vegas City district. Such Metaverse gambling hubs exclusively cater to cryptocurrency traders, though.

Incidentally, regular players are more likely to visit traditional casino operators. Top platforms even reward them with lofty casino bonuses. Newcomers can claim welcome packages upon signing up, while seasoned card sharks can make the most of deposit bonuses. Pro tips published by industry experts help users find ongoing promotions that fit their needs and preferences. From table games to progressive jackpot slots, gamers can explore thousands of options for free or real money.

Outside of the iGaming sector, many developers are betting on the Metaverse. Krafton, the studio behind the royale game PUBG: Battlegrounds, recently collaborated with augmented reality firm Naver Z to introduce a Metaverse content creation platform enhanced by AI. The roaring success of Roblox is yet another proof that the Metaverse is still alive and kicking, even if it doesn’t look anything like the sci-fi wet dream of many gamers, marketers, and tech developers.

Final Thoughts

According to many an observer, the death of the Metaverse is pretty much a given. The situation isn’t as clear-cut, however. Many tech luminaries still invest in the technology for reasons that do not boil down to mere delusion. Meanwhile, developers like Epic Games are bringing the Metaverse to life. The AI frenzy might also even benefit the technology in the long run, allowing techies to navigate beyond that waning hype to sharpen their Metaverse vision.

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