The metaverse first rose to prominence at Facebook’s Connect 2021 event, where CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook’s “vision of the metaverse as the successor to the mobile internet.”
Zuckerberg also revealed Facebook’s rebrand to Meta, reflecting the company’s new strategic direction.
The gaming industry is in the vanguard of metaverse development. This is because the platform involves communities built on engaging content, the same factors driving video games to become a $450bn-plus industry by 2030. This makes it an ideal starting point for the metaverse.
Yet, the metaverse has failed to live up to the excessive hype that built up in 2021 and early 2022. Cooling interest, economic obstacles, and the immaturity of enabling technologies resulted in a metaverse winter in 2023.
The metaverse in 2024
Looking ahead, GlobalData expects several metaverse hardware devices to be released in 2024.
Apple will enter the market with the Vision Pro augmented reality (AR) headset in February 2024. The high-end device will debut at $3,499 making it unattainable for most consumers, especially amidst the cost-of-living crisis.
How well do you really know your competitors?
Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.
Your download email will arrive shortly
Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample
We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below formBy GlobalData
Sony has also recently revealed a mixed-reality headset for enterprise use, which will be available later in 2024.
Finally, GlobalData expects that Meta will release the Quest 3 Lite virtual reality (VR) headset in 2024. The low-end device will be marketed as a cheaper alternative to the Quest 3, with Meta hoping to attract consumers en masse to its ecosystem.
Despite the anticipated release of these devices, metaverse gaming will not enter the mainstream in 2024. This is because AR and VR, crucial technologies driving metaverse development, are still immature.
Eventually, AR and VR will make metaverse experiences immersive and allow users to seamlessly interact with virtual objects, people, and environments. In the absence of serious improvements to these technologies, metaverse gaming will continue to disappoint.
Metaverse gaming will drive M&A activity in 2024
That said, GlobalData expects game publishers, like Electronic Arts, Valve, Perfect World, and Niantic, and 3D game engine providers, like ROBLOX, Epic Games, and Unity Technologies, to become M&A targets of big publishers and tech giants, like Amazon, Tencent, Alibaba, Microsoft, Sony, Alphabet, and ByteDance, that see long term growth in the platform.
This is because those game publishers and 3D game engine providers can provide the acquirer with the content, community, talent, and technologies to build high-quality, immersive experiences.