Prediction of the Metaverse Market: A recent report from the strategy firm Bain & Company forecasts that the metaverse is on track to become a substantial commercial market, potentially reaching a valuation of $900 billion by the year 2030.
Nonetheless, the study underscores that the metaverse market is currently in its early “seed stage” and may require another five to ten years to achieve widespread adoption and large-scale usage.
The report, titled “Taking the Hyperbole Out of the Metaverse,” examines both the remarkable revenue potential and the challenges that lie ahead for this emerging digital realm. Rather than dismissing the opportunity, Bain’s partners advocate active involvement during this foundational development phase, emphasizing the importance of getting involved early and eventually scaling as the technologies refine.
To gain a comprehensive understanding of the current landscape and the path forward, Bain’s analysis delves into five key metaverse battlegrounds, which collectively account for over 90 percent of their projected market size breakdown for 2030. These categories encompass virtual experiences ($585 billion), content creation tools ($45 billion), app stores and operating systems ($90 billion), hardware devices ($90 billion), and computing infrastructure ($90 billion).
Although gaming currently holds a dominant position in the consumer metaverse market, there are strong indications of promise in the fitness and entertainment sectors. Additionally, innovative applications for collaboration, training, and marketing are emerging on the enterprise side. Establishing a solid foundation during the seed stage is essential to position participants for substantial gains as the metaverse market matures.
Chris Johnson, a partner in Bain’s Technology practice, notes, “As the metaverse market rapidly evolves, we have already witnessed these technologies gaining traction across various industries. For instance, immersive gaming platforms are already boasting hundreds of millions of monthly active users. While the exact transformation of the metaverse landscape remains uncertain, our research identifies five competitive battlegrounds that executives should consider to gain an early advantage and ultimately scale.”
He continues, “This journey is an ongoing progression toward more immersive and collaborative experiences, driven by rapid advancements in the underlying technology.”
The report highlights hardware as an area where significant technological challenges need to be addressed, particularly for standalone wearables that can deliver fully immersive experiences. The report emphasizes the importance of cross-device functionality as a prerequisite for widespread adoption until the emergence of next-generation equipment. This underscores Bain’s central conclusion that the virtual world is still in its early stages of development.
The Metaverse: A Permanent Plural Reality
The report also challenges the notion of a singular, unified digital universe platform.
Given the increasing trend towards immersive and collaborative applications in both consumer and enterprise sectors, Bain’s analysis suggests that the likelihood of a unified metaverse platform is low.
Instead, it’s expected that existing platforms with large user bases will continue to enhance their immersive and engaging features, while smaller metaverse-inspired environments will seek to expand their user communities.
These virtual domains are likely to remain distinct entities as private corporations aim to extract value from the underlying data sets to recoup their investments.
Moncef Maghrebi, a Partner at Bain & Company Middle East, explains, “Today, various metaverse strategies coexist, ranging from companies with a vertically integrated approach spanning multiple segments of the metaverse technology stack to those with a horizontal strategy that concentrates on a single layer of the stack.”
He adds, “The most effective approach as the metaverse market evolves and the shape of the ecosystem (vertical vs. horizontal) is expected to undergo changes in due course.”