7 Ways the Metaverse Could Change the Entertainment IndustryReading Time: 4 minutes
Whether it’s games, movies, or concerts, the metaverse has the potential to change how the entertainment industry as we know it.
Although it has doubters, the metaverse is already making huge changes in how we experience entertainment. In 2021, Facebook Inc. officially changed its name to Meta and announced its new focus on the metaverse.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, the metaverse is a virtual world that users can access through VR headsets. But the metaverse isn’t a video game, it’s a virtual interactive experience, and some people call it the next evolution of the internet.
Here are seven ways the metaverse could—and how it is already changing—the entertainment industry.
1. Interactive Movies and Storytelling
Many companies are already exploring the idea of interactive movies. Polygon gave a rundown of Netflix’s interactive video specials. Although they can be a lot of fun, today’s interactive storytelling often boils down to a series of simple yes or no questions. However, storytelling in the metaverse could one day involve complex plot lines with branching paths.
Imagine a movie where instead of watching just the hero, you’re one of the main characters. Interactive movies inside the metaverse could bridge the gap between traditional media and video games.
2. True VR Gaming
In the movie Ready Player One, VR gaming has become the world’s most popular form of entertainment. Players use high-tech headsets and bodysuits to transport themselves into the virtual world.
A lot of that is still science fiction. But VR gaming has taken huge leaps forward in just the last few years, and we’ve seen VR headsets become much more affordable and popular. Although many games still feel like tech demos, many great VR games like Half-Life: Alyx show the world what a triple-A VR experience could look like.
The metaverse could become a hub for VR gaming. Because the metaverse is based around collaboration, it could combine the interactivity and community of an MMO with the immersion of the biggest triple-A action games.
3. Virtual Concerts
You might be surprised to learn that virtual concerts are already a thing. In 2019, superstar DJ Marshmello made headlines by holding a live concert in the game Fortnite, and over 10 million people attended. Since then, other A-listers like Travis Scott and Ariana Grande have had their in-game concerts.
Because of these virtual concerts’ impact, some people ask if games like Minecraft, Roblox, and Fortnite are types of metaverses. Either way, the game introduced the general public to the idea of big-name virtual concerts. And it proved that people would get excited about and attend virtual concerts just like in the real world.
Meta has definitely taken notice. Rappers Young Thug and Post Malone have both had their own live performances on Horizon Worlds, a metaverse-based social app. As time goes on, expect to see more music performances, album releases, and exclusive content premiering inside the metaverse.
4. Live Sports
The metaverse could be the next step in sports entertainment. Any diehard fan will tell you that sports aren’t just a game; they’re an experience. Attending a live sporting event within the metaverse could capture much more of the stadium experience than just watching a game on TV can.
Unlike TV, where you just watch what’s going on, inside the metaverse, you can actually be part of it. That might mean accessorizing your avatar with your team’s jersey, cheering for goals, and celebrating after the game with your friends.
The metaverse isn’t going to replace all real-life sporting events. Events like the World Cup will still see fans traveling from across the globe to watch their team compete. But for those who can’t make the trip, the metaverse could get you closer to a live experience.
5. Socializing Inside the Metaverse
Some people think that the metaverse is the future of virtual collaboration. In fact, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg is already holding many high-level company meetings inside the metaverse.
But metaverse events aren’t limited to work or school. The metaverse is already home to many social hubs where users can get together and interact. Some people are already exploring metaverse dating, and one day, there could be a vibrant nightlife scene in the virtual world.
There are also tons of reasons why you might want to hold your own virtual events. The metaverse could become a way for families and friends to connect when they’re far apart. Organizing a virtual talent show could be a great way to have some family-friendly fun. And holding a wedding reception inside the metaverse could open the door for far-away friends and family to attend your special event.
6. Metaverse Tourism
In 2022, BeyondGames reported on VR City, a tourist destination in the metaverse. VR City is a collection of some of the world’s most famous landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty, and the Great Wall of China. And just like real-life tourist attractions, you’ll need to pay a fee to visit. But unlike an international vacation, a trip to VR City will run you just $2.44.
Metaverse tourism is still in its early days, but expect it to continue to grow. We could one day see one-to-one recreations of historic cities and locations. And because the metaverse is completely virtual, designers aren’t limited by permits, building codes, or even the laws of physics. That means one day, we could walk on other planets or visit fantasy worlds.
7. Explore the World of Your Favorite Franchises
Companies are always on the hunt for their next big revenue stream, and many are looking to the metaverse. Metaverse real estate has already become a huge industry, and some venture capitalists are investing thousands of dollars in metaverse construction projects.
In the real world, theme parks like Disneyland and Universal Studios let fans step into the world of their favorite movies and films. So expect to see companies creating metaverse worlds based on their own IPs. We could soon be able to explore locations from franchises like Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings within the metaverse.
Although the metaverse is still in its early days, many companies are already investing in the technologies that power the virtual world.
Are You Ready for the Metaverse?
Meta has decided to go all-in on the metaverse, and some think that’s a big mistake. But keep in mind that in the 90s, many people considered the internet a fad or a waste of time. The metaverse has a lot of potential, but it’s still in its early days, so it’s too soon to tell. What we do know is that the metaverse is already here, so are you ready to dive in?