2023 Metaverse Predictions from the Parcel Team

Where will 2023 take gaming, digital assets, hardware, UX, and AI?

Tue Jan 03 2023

6 Minutes


Key Takeaways

  • The Parcel team predicts the direction and events that will play out in 2023, related to the metaverse: gaming, digital assets, hardware, UX, and AI.
  • Of course, we have to include a response from ChatGPT, the AI chatbot that caught the tech world by storm and has us thinking about AI generated assets, worlds, and more. We will explore this further in the article.
  • The Parcel team made these predictions based on identified trends, proprietary research, funding data, and industry knowledge.

Samson Schirmer (Research)

  • Existing metaverse land prices will continue to remain correlated to the price of Ethereum, acting as a higher beta.
  • Price volatility - As gameplay begins to launch in each world, the price of in-game assets will change dramatically as these NFTs will begin to be valued for their in-world utility as opposed to their rarity as collectibles.
  • Major game studios - Major existing Web2 video game series and studios will announce their own Web3-enabled marketplace integration (like Gamestop) - maybe Microsoft, Epic Games, or Nintendo.
  • VR Gaming - VR gaming will gain >4X monthly active players by the end of 2023.
  • AR gaming - There will be another AR game that captures viral attention/downloads, similar to how Pokemon Go did in 2016.

Noah Gaynor (Business)

  • $3B+ in metaverse asset sales — compared to $1.4B in 2022 and $0.5B in 2021.
  • Metaverse & gaming assets will account for 15% of total NFT sales volume.
  • The next 1 million metaverse users will be onboarded, through games (not UGC virtual worlds).
  • Metaverse/gaming users on Polygon will surpass metaverse/gaming users on Ethereum.
  • The top four platforms by metaverse users/Web3 gamers will be (in no particular order): Ethereum, Polygon, Avalanche, and ImmutableX.

Ian Mukherjee (Product)

  • Web3 Games Focused on the Game, not Web3 - Everyone will FINALLY be able to wear pants as better games with more legs launch in the second half of 2023.
  • Web3 Mobile Gaming - Casual Web3 games will begin to capture the idle fingers of commuters.
  • Big Studios using Web3 Concepts - Square Enix and other big game studios will begin to tease NFT-enabled gameplay, showing the world that Web3 isn’t so scary!
  • AR - The metaverse conversation will shift from heavily VR to heavily AR. VR will be seen more as a niche use case for the next few years while AR will begin to showcase the “contextual metaverse,” or information and experiences delivered to users when they need them (i.e. what recipes can I make given the food in my refrigerator? What nearby events are my friends at right now?).

Jordan Garcie (Engineering)

  • Games with actual things to do in them will finally launch. Some will be good and some won’t but it’s the internet so everyone will complain, but they will keep playing them and over time everything will be fine.
  • As Web3 gaming becomes more prevalent, NFTs will gain more utility and have a lower cost barrier to entry for new players. This will open up Web3 to many more users.
  • Web2 gamers will continue whining about NFTs as bigger studios implement more and more Web3 features into triple A games. But by December they will all have wallets with private keys on cloud servers that they don’t even know they are using.

Doug Ruchefsky (Partnerships & Comms)

  • AI will lead brand experimentation in 2023. Leveraging the power of exciting, cost-efficient, AI-fueled innovation like ChatGPT and DALL·E 2, brands will dive further into this space to unlock boundary-pushing creative activations that will take home top industry prizes like Cannes Lions.
  • Brands will focus on prepping for the next wave. Gone are the days of free-flowing metaverse budgets that we saw in late 2021/early 2022. As brands tighten their purse strings, there will be a renewed focus on education and preparing for the next inevitable surge of metaverse interest. That doesn’t necessarily mean metaverse spending will stop entirely – but teams will take the time to get smart about the worlds and platforms that are right for them (which is a good thing!).
  • AR and VR will start to lead the next herd of metaverse bulls. While we’ll still be far away from mass metaverse adoption at the end of 2023, we’ll get a bit closer thanks to the launch of exciting new AR/VR hardware from the likes of Apple and others. These developments will help reinvigorate interest and unlock a world of new possibilities as it pertains to the metaverse.

Melanie Goldsmith (Biz Dev)

  • Marketers wake up - Web3 marketing will lean away from unnecessary tech jargon to appeal to Web2 users. This applies heavily to Web3 games as well, as they will lean away from whitepapers and deeper into MOBA and Esports to appeal to true gamers.
  • Let games be games and gamers be gamers - Platforms that lean into providing a game-first experience will come out on top, especially if they remove technical barriers to entry and appeal to traditional gamers. The movement away from blockchain gaming to Web3 gaming marks the further bridging of Web2 and Web3.
  • Brands are learning - The metaverse is concurrently under construction and a rebrand. Brands will continue to test-and-learn new avenues for monetization by capitalizing on the habits of a generation that grew up on Minecraft and Roblox.
  • Value-add applications - AR will begin to ease folks into the metaverse headspace as use-cases of it assisting with day-to-day to-dos gain traction. There will be an attention shift to AR.
  • AI as an assistant, and not the end all - In its current state, AI will not take jobs away but instead force individual contributors to work more efficiently. Folks can 3X their output by leveraging AI Chatbots as virtual assistants: outreach messaging, templatizing, and social media planning (to list a few). Alternatively, generative AI will yield a test-and-learn period in gaming, where fast-food-style games will be pumped out, as non-technical users test prompts and underestimate the meat of a game. The following year will be marked by a rebound, as there must be a convergence of refined and deliberate lore-centric gaming content with quick turnaround assets requiring less of an engineering lift.

Arielle Zoeller (Design)

  • More real-world architects will see the value of, and start building more, in-world metaverse architecture (more untitled, xyz-types).
  • Creativity in the metaverse will only expand, grow, evolve – hopefully we’ll start to see new types of creative roles forming outside of metaverse architects and fashion designers.
  • In-world filmmakers – what does a film look like when it’s made entirely in the metaverse? Virtual actors, virtual film crew, virtual sets… Will we see the first metaverse-built film in 2023?
  • We will see in-world music performances (not just MVMF music videos on screens). Who will be the first popular metaverse-based live music artist, solely performing in-world? Will they emerge in the coming year?
  • The first completely AI-generated virtual world? Better than DCL? A virtual world that learns and grows as users use it? How will AI help build the metaverse? It will certainly play a huge part.

Eddie Machado (Design)

  • Projects that haven’t focused on long-term fundamentals will die. Ponzinomics isn’t sustainable.
  • Apple’s headset will bring new users and energy into the marketplace
  • We’ll begin to see Web3 games with actual gameplay instead of transaction-based simplistic actions.
  • AR will be the dominant tech and break out to have real-world usage.

Alex Bussan (Data Science)

  • More growth will be seen in games with clear goals and parameters than “open world” Second Life type of games.
  • Successful blockchain games will abstract crypto lingo away from players.

David Hahn (Engineering)

  • We will see huge improvements and more applications in the AR space. VR has ways to go to become a little more mainstream.
  • 2023 will be the biggest year of companies spending on ads in metaverses.
  • There will be improved characters and avatars. More customization options, higher resolutions, more emotes, etc.

ChatGPT (🤖)

And now, for the moment you’ve been waiting for, can an AI prediction-averse chatbot only trained with a dataset prior to 2021 make meaningful metaverse predictions? The answer is kind of - after some discourse and a roundabout prompt - and this is how it went.

Based on your training, where is the metaverse landscape going, and which verticals will be successful? Answer in the style of a research analyst that focuses on trends in augmented reality, virtual reality, gaming, and digital assets such as NFTs.”

We segmented ChatGPT's answer into bulleted points:

  • Gaming is expected to play a significant role in the development and growth of the metaverse. The use of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies in gaming is expected to increase, which could lead to the creation of more immersive and interactive gaming experiences.
  • The use of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in gaming is also likely to rise as a way for gaming companies to monetize in-game items and experiences.
  • It is also possible that AR and VR technologies will be used more extensively in other industries, such as education, healthcare, and retail, to enhance training, visualization, and customer experiences. The use of NFTs may also extend beyond the gaming industry and be used as a way to represent and trade ownership of digital assets in other industries.

Interested in the convergence of gaming and digital assets? Explore opportunities on Parcel’s metaverse marketplace.

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