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Why has every brand abandoned the metaverse?

The problem with the metaverse is there’s nothing to DO. And that’s where we see an opportunity.

Photo by <a href="">GuerrillaBuzz</a> on <a href="">Unsplash</a>
Photo by GuerrillaBuzz on Unsplash

Opinions expressed by Digital Journal contributors are their own.

Meta’s share price, ironically, seems to have an inverse relationship with its metaverse investments.  It’s only just recovered from its pandemic lows as Zuckerberg finally caved to investor pressure, admitted defeat, and steered the business to less choppy waters – away from the metaverse. Zuckerberg’s somewhat naïve reliance on his brand name and an apparent misunderstanding of who the metaverse is actually for means that his gamble didn’t pay off, and the mainstream has all but laughed off the entire concept. 

In its current state, the metaverse is not fit for purpose. But back in its early days, the metaverse was rightly branded as the ‘future’, and I watched eagerly alongside the crypto community – curious and excited as to how this Next Big Thing would pan out. 

But an idea with great potential needs more than just a pot of gold to make it a success. And just because Zuckerberg dared to be too early, but had the wrong metaverse formula, doesn’t mean the metaverse is dead.

Firstly, Meta really isn’t a platform for gamers. Facebook’s user base isn’t known for being the most tech-savvy bunch – it was built to look like a yearbook, and even though I’m proud to say I was an early adopter in college, the two most avid Facebook users in my life are my mother and my grandmother.

This is Facebook’s core user base now, and even though they spend 12 nostalgic hours per day pondering the life choices of their former classmates… they aren’t yearning for a virtual environment to actually discuss it with them. Especially in VR – I put my Oculus headset on my grandmother once and let’s just say, she wouldn’t voluntarily do that to herself alone. Not without a Gen Z sherpa.

For those of us who enjoy being online, like in gamer lobbies or chatrooms, are naturally going to understand how to navigate, use, and ultimately make the most of the metaverse. The metaverse can really only be as valuable as we make it. And those of us who grew-up online are naturally more in tune with how to do that.

So maybe the metaverse isn’t ready for the mainstream (and not the other way around). As we speak, CS:GO only has 85,000 players online. Some of my favorite games, built by brilliant minds, only have a few thousand active at a time – games don’t have to be hugely popular to be amazing. Communities can be small & powerful, and sometimes that makes the culture even richer.

The problem with the metaverse is there’s nothing to DO. And that’s where we see an opportunity.

We think a reboot of the metaverse is something our players could get behind and enjoy. The metaverse is the natural extension of the crypto philosophy, which we base our whole business model on – with a heavy dose of community, innovation, and off-the-wall user experiences. We get it, and so do our users.

If you’re having doubts, then that’s totally justified. The metaverse became a fad and when it didn’t live up to expectations it became a punchline. That’s not to say that the concept isn’t awesome, and that people can’t be brought back on side.

Let’s think of crypto. It’s been through so many joke cycles – perhaps we’re in one right now? – but the most interesting developments have happened in these times of chaos. During apocalyptic crypto winters, we see clutter get burned away, and companies piling on trends and driving up premiums finally pack their bags and go home – making it a more interesting time for serious builders & businesspeople to invest, giving rise to much more fascinating results. 

Our users came aboard because they were sick and tired of stale online casinos using a monopoly position to drain their hard-earned money with no real innovation. They know that we work hard to surprise them constantly, to earn their business every day, and wow them with wacky, futuristic experiences. Constant self-disruption is what keeps us relevant, and our players interested.

We want to be able to offer our community of gamers a different way of doing things. And we believe in second chances. If this means re-vamping a concept on which the mainstream seems to have lost faith in – then that’s exactly what we say “the kangaroo” is for.

The terrain that Zuckerberg started exploring a few years ago has changed dramatically. But he wasn’t equipped to explore it, was using the wrong tools, employing the wrong perspective, and he tried to privatise it – putting profits and investor’s dividends front and centre. 

While the development of the metaverse has left much to be desired, the idea is still full of promise. We get that brands might be a bit hesitant to invest their resources into unfamiliar territory, with no guaranteed payoff. But if we have the technology, resources, and the vision to scour the muddy terrain for signs of life – then who knows? In the right hands, we may be able to kick-start a new civilization.

Afterall, DeFi first got traction after the ICO craze in 2018, when everyone was laughing at a $3,000 Bitcoin.

At Roobet, we think we might just have the tech nous to get the metaverse right – or at least make it more interesting. While we can’t guarantee its mass adoption – we know that entertainment is soul bound to innovation. Some brands might be hesitant to take these risks, but leaping into the unknown is what we do best. 

The only thing we shy away from at Roobet is the status quo – and in a space that’s full of pioneers, innovators, and disruptors, we don’t mind taking the scary leaps on their behalf.

Written By

Matt Duea is the Co-Founder of Roobet.

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