- Major players like Walmart are beginning to understand the connection between the creator economy and the metaverse.
- Augmented reality (AR) brings a new paradigm for metaverse creators. By leveraging this technology, they can build immersive experiences for millions to enjoy.
- Within blockchain based games and worlds, like those featured on the Parcel Marketplace, creators and users have enhanced ownership of their assets and creations.
The creator economy continues to be one of the primary economic incentives of the metaverse. A creator-centric approach allowed for the initial success of Decentraland, Voxels, The Sandbox, and Somnium Space and will continue to bear fruit for ensuing metaverse projects, especially as emerging technologies like AR open up new paradigms for digital creativity. The creator economy has become more than just a moonshot. It has evolved into a full-blown career for millions and a source of joy, education, and fulfillment for even more. A study from Adobe found that 48% of nonprofessional creators now earn money from their creative activities, translating to nearly half of their yearly income.
Amongst creators who monetize their content, 77% of them started doing so within the last year. The statistics from Adobe’s study on the creator economy show that a wealth of creators are looking to find ways to make money outside the traditional economy. That’s where the metaverse presents its abundant opportunities. It is a vast and vital ecosystem for future defending companies and creatives alike. In addition to 3D and VR worlds, augmented reality worlds like Over and Superworld have already begun to leverage creators to help architect their virtual worlds.
Opportunities abound in the Metaverse
For starters, blockchain technology makes it easier for creatives to certify ownership of their work. It will also give them the ownership rights to sell, distribute or share their work. Creators benefit from recurring royalties, making money from their product's initial sale and additional secondary sales. Royalties also prevent creators from losing ownership of their designs or products. This newfound radical ownership of work encourages a growing movement of Gen Z and fashion designers flocking to the metaverse to become cyber designers.
Industry giants like Gucci have begun to release metaverse wearable collections in collaboration with up and coming creatives. The recently released '10KTF Gucci Grail NFT' offered collection items in the form of outfits (wearables) to be donned by avatars or held as digital collectibles to be stored in-wallet. The virtual collection was designed by digital artist Wagmi-san.
Another role in the metaverse that will benefit from the concept of radical ownership is a metaverse architect. In the metaverse, architects can build without limits and retain full ownership of the spaces and platforms they create. These creatives can showcase and sell their creations or offer design services on platforms like the Parcel Creatorverse. Brands and projects looking to acquire virtual land will need these architects to complete custom builds on their digital land to provide a compelling in-world experience.
AR technology brings new and significant opportunities for creators. Through it, they can transform their 2D artistic aesthetic into a 3D, immersive digital experience. Over and SuperWorld are setting the industry standard for investing in AR creators, and it's paying off. The success of future metaverse platforms will rely on how well they leverage AR creators to build virtual experiences that draw users from the real world and into the metaverse.
Where are creators building?
Parcel provides architects a platform to showcase their dynamic portfolio of web3 work via the Creatorverse. Some Creatorverse architects have crafted virtual sculptures and works of art, like @miliv_eth, who builds mesmerizing and interactive structures. Others like Fireworks Design Studio have brought design studios to life. Architects and game developers are the backbone of virtual worlds as we know them, but other creators have leveraged AR to bring new experiences to their users.
One team of AR/VR creators that has successfully leveraged AR to create immersive experiences, connecting users and brands, is @cybernerdbaby. They have worked on projects spanning from a Times Square NFT.NYC overlay in collaboration with Parcel to AR proof of concept estates in Over, and even on an AR ad for Mcdonald's in Malaysia. In the ad for Mcdonald's, visitors can scan a QR code, which loads an immersive ad for the fast food chain’s burgers. CyberNerdBaby has also created wearables, avatars, and even immersive experiences where visitors can walk through a virtual art garden. These projects exemplify the opportunity waiting for builders in the metaverse.
AR technology, paired with the metaverse, creates an opportunity for creators to build virtual spaces that bring people deeper into existing and up and coming virtual worlds. Creators on Superworld can buy a plot of land, then add AR experiences to them to draw in visitors. In Over, AR creators can foster through geolocalized experiences like concerts or sports games in virtual venues built by virtual architects.
Both platforms prioritize giving creators a space to design, develop and grow their portfolios instead of merely focusing on extracting value from their work. If creatives continue to be enabled by AR platforms, the creator economy will spur growth in metaverse capabilities by incentivizing AR creators to come together to build immersive and meaningful experiences.
An immersive layer for the creator economy?
Metaverse builders who utilize AR technology can uniquely immerse viewers or potential buyers in their work by providing them with a virtual sample. The creator also maintains ownership, which is unique to metaverse platforms compared to other platforms where the creator’s designs or work can be stolen by predatory fast fashion brands or other eagle-eyed trend scouts. Even within the virtual reality space, creators can be exploited. Meta has a 47.5% take rate for virtual asset sales. Contrastingly, within worlds like SuperWorld and Over, the creator's work is theirs to sell or market as they see fit, while royalties can be baked into the NFT smart contract and automatically disburse payment to the artist upon any secondary sales.
One can also see the market potential for major companies to participate in this more gamified economy. The CTO of big-box retailer Walmart, which has dominated the list of revenue-making companies for a decade, recently talked about the major role blockchain technology will play in retail — not just in aiding with payments, but also with product discovery.
The way customers are getting inspired by, and finding, products “is changing,” CTO Suresh Kumar told Yahoo Finance, “and part of that is going to happen in the Metaverse.”
Walmart has already been active in the metaverse, integrating blockchain tech to help the company better track the origins of its produce and other products, as well as launching two virtual ecosystems in Roblox, the “Walmart Universe of Play” and “Walmart Land.”
Other companies are following their lead, and the end result will likely be a virtual economy that is deeply rooted in 3D experiences enabled by AR and VR. Many times, brands will commission creators or onboard them as consultants, showing that brands don’t squash creators but actually amplify their reach.
Creators that focus on building fully immersive and gamified experiences will likely reap the rewards, particularly as their creations will be a compelling entry point for companies looking to reach users in the metaverse.
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