13+ Must-Read Metaverse Facts for Well-Versed Readers
Updated · Mar 06, 2023
Over 100 million people in the US haven’t even heard of the metaverse. Many of those who have heard of it see it as some sort of dystopian, futuristic technology that’ll doom humanity.
The truth is that the metaverse is already here.
It exists—has existed—for a while in media such as VR and AR. Virtual events such as Fortnite’s concerts, which have attracted dozens of millions of players, are another example.
And so, we at Web Tribunal have prepared an entire collection of Metaverse facts to discuss with you today. Some of them are a bit on the dystopian side, sure, but others are straight-up ludicrous. We’re positive you don’t want to miss them.
Mystifying Facts About the Metaverse (Editor’s Choice)
- In 2021 alone, Facebook invested $10 billion in the Metaverse.
- Projections suggest the metaverse will surpass $100 billion in 2022.
- 27.7 million players attended Fortnite’s Travis Scott virtual concert.
- Someone bought a digital Gucci bag in Roblox for $4,115.
- Companies involved with the Web 2.0 Metaverse totaled $14.8 trillion in terms of market cap.
- Facebook intends to create 10,000+ Metaverse-related jobs in the EU.
- North America holds 45.3% of the Metaverse market.
- A quarter of the population will spend at least an hour daily in the Metaverse by 2026.
- By the same year, nearly a third of the world’s organizations will offer Metaverse products or services.
What Is a Metaverse?
The term itself derives from the words meta and universe. “Meta” is typically used as a prefix that signifies something of a higher order, something transcendent; “universe” should be apparent.
In other words, “metaverse” roughly translates to something like “the next universe.”
1. The term “metaverse” was created in 1982.
(Source: Bernard Marr & Co)
To deepen our understanding of the metaverse, we should look at its origins.
It all started when Neil Stevenson used the word in a novel of his back in 1982. What did he mean by it?
A virtual world where his characters could escape from the very dystopian “real” one.
2. SEGA created VR arcade consoles in the 1990s.
(Source: Bernard Marr & Co)
The Japanese video game company SEGA gave us the earliest metaverse examples. The firm came up with arcade machines known as SEGA VR-1 in 1994 and installed them in theme parks in Japan, London, and Sydney.
It involved a headset—the “Mega Visor Display,” to be precise—that would go over the user’s eyes in a manner nearly identical to how modern-day VR headsets work. And, truth be told, it wouldn’t be until the 2010s that someone would finally match its capabilities.
But what is the metaverse used for?
For all sorts of things, really. For instance…
3. A digital version of a Gucci bag sold for $4,115 in Roblox.
(Source: South China Morning Post)
In the real—that is, the physical—world, Gucci makes a bag (or a range of bags, to be precise) called “Dionysus.” They sell for around $3,500.
In collaboration with the gaming platform Roblox, the fashion giant hosted a digital exhibition last year. There, it offered a digital-only version of its signature bag, which ended up selling for $4,115.
Keep in mind this is an item that you literally can’t use outside of Roblox, so what is the advantage of the metaverse anyway, if things aren’t even cheaper there?
Well, the advantages might not be quite clear in the fashion world (yet), but there are other uses for the metaverse that we’ll explore below.
In the meantime, let’s just say that—unfortunately for those who bought them—prices for the digital bags have since dropped well below four figures. The real-world Gucci bag, on the other hand, has retained its value.
Fun fact: Roblox has 200 million monthly players, and 32 of them are actually millionaires. Self-made millionaires. They raised their fortune by playing and developing the game.
4. 27.7 million players attended Fortnite’s Travis Scott virtual concert.
Here are some more entertaining metaverse statistics concerning the video game industry.
As you’re likely aware, Fortnite is one of the world’s most popular games, boasting a player base of 80 million monthly active users. It’s also famous for hosting in-game events such as concerts. One of them was a Travis Scott concert, which attracted 27.7 million virtual attendees. Moreover, up to 12.3 million players attended simultaneously.
We dare you to try that in real life, especially during a pandemic!
In total, the event had 45.8 million visits, which means that some players went to the concert more than once.
Metaverse Technology: Money and Expertise
We mentioned video games just now, and rightly so—many analogize the metaverse to multiplayer online games, but there’s more to it.
From social media moguls looking for new opportunities to make money (and become trillionaires or something) to crypto enthusiasts trying to sell virtual property, it’s a vast playing field.
5. Facebook invested $10 billion in the metaverse in 2021.
(Source: The New York Times)
The metaverse and virtual reality go hand in hand. Virtual reality and Facebook go hand in hand, too. Kind of.
Facebook bought Oculus back in 2014 for a whopping $2 billion. This investment hasn’t really paid off yet, but Facebook hasn’t given up, either. On the contrary, the social media giant has now doubled down on its bet, investing a further $10 billion in metaverse-related expenses in 2021 alone.
It even changed its name to Meta.
Alas, despite how many people are in the metaverse, Zuckerberg’s company isn’t doing so well right now. It reported an 8% decrease in profits in Q4 2021 and failed to meet analysts’ expectations. This, in turn, drove Meta’s market cap down to half what it used to be.
Fun fact: Meta is also looking into neural tech—that is, it acquired a startup that’s developing a wristband that would let us, users, control tech with our brains.
6. Microsoft secured a $21.9 billion contract to produce AR headsets for the US Army.
It turns out that there are potential applications for the metaverse in industries far beyond what we’d call “entertainment.” One example is Microsoft’s recent move toward the military-industrial complex.
Long story short, the tech giant produced a bunch of augmented reality (AR) headset prototypes for the US Army a few years ago. The army liked them, and now Microsoft has secured a $21.9 billion contract to produce over 120,000 such headsets.
A commercial-use HoloLens costs about $3,500 and lets you play with holograms. The military version will do a whole lot more—it includes thermal radars and night vision. It also overlays a bunch of tactical information onto the soldiers’ vision in order to “increase lethality” and give them an edge in combat.
7. The market cap of Web 2.0 companies involved in the metaverse totals $14.8 trillion.
Metaverse companies are now worth $14.8 trillion. Granted, this includes all companies working on products or services related to the metaverse in one way or another. All kinds of extended reality (XR) solutions count, as do certain video games.
But here’s the key thing—$14.8 trillion is the total market capitalization of everyone involved. And only a tiny portion of that money actually goes toward developing metaverse products.
Fun metaverse facts: The gaming and eSports field boasts a market cap of nearly $2 trillion. Facebook alone accounts for more than half a trillion—though it used to be worth nearly double that back at the beginning of the year.
8. The market cap of Web 3.0 companies involved in the metaverse is $27.5 billion.
(Source: Grayscale Investments)
One of the more amusing metaverse facts we’ll talk about has to do with the distinction between Web 2.0 and Web 3.0. The former is the Web as we know it—dominated by massive platforms such as Facebook and Twitter—whereas the latter is the proposed decentralized iteration of the Web.
The metaverse, being a place where virtual persons use virtual currency to buy virtual real estate, was conceived as a Web 3.0 medium.
But then Web 2.0 giants such as Facebook realized there was money to be made and started working on their own versions of it—and they overtook everyone else.
Recent metaverse statistics illustrate this well: The combined market capitalization of all Web 3.0 companies involved in the metaverse is a measly $0.0275 trillion. That’s $27.5 billion (or about half of what Elon Musk spent on buying Twitter).
It’s also just 0.18% of what Web 2.0 companies interested in the metaverse are worth.
9. By the end of 2022, the metaverse will be worth more than $100 billion.
(Source: Fortune Business Insights)
Globally, the metaverse market size hit $63.83 billion in 2021. This year, projections suggest it’ll exceed $100 billion. Moreover, it’ll exhibit a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 47.6% over the remainder of the decade.
If true, that means the metaverse market will be worth $1.5 trillion by 2029.
Still, it’s vital to consider unforeseeable events, such as global pandemics and wars, as they can easily render predictions useless. In the case of the metaverse in particular, though, the pandemic fired up people’s interest in virtual worlds, thus creating massive demand for XR services.
Metaverse Trends for Those Who Care About It (And Those Who Don’t)
Now that we have a good grasp of how diverse the multiverse can be, there’s one more thing to consider: Who’s doing what.
While we all understandably dread the thought of next-gen technology taking over our jobs, the metaverse, much like Artificial Intelligence, actually seems to be creating jobs—and no, we don’t mean virtual jobs.
10. Facebook is set to create more than 10,000 metaverse-related jobs in the EU.
It’s not just metaverse fans who are on the rise—it’s also metaverse jobs!
Designing something as convoluted as a virtual world is no easy task, so it’s only natural that the businesses engaged will need dedicated workers.
Following Facebook’s somewhat confounding announcement a few months ago that the company would be rebranding as Meta and investing in the metaverse, came another more well-received one—that it would be looking to hire over 10,000 people across the EU to work on its new projects.
Hopefully, this will push Europe up to NA/APAC levels.
11. North America holds 45.3% of the metaverse market.
(Source: Amra & Elma)
Much of the world’s latest and greatest technology released over the past few decades has been designed in North America. Virtual reality is no exception.
Metaverse usage statistics indicate that the continent makes up over 45.3% of the market, followed by the Asia-Pacific region, which holds a third (33.8%), and leaving Europe lagging well behind with a mere 20.9%.
12. 71% of US women are not interested in the metaverse.
(Source: Amra & Elma)
The metaverse’s popularity is still going up, but not everyone’s equally interested in it. For instance, in the US, only 7% of women claim to be “very interested” in the metaverse.
When it comes to men, 18% (over 2.5 times as many) are “very interested,” whereas 47% of the country’s male population aren’t particularly excited about the prospect of sinking countless hours in VR. In fact, 35% even assert they “aren’t interested at all.”
13. A quarter of the population will spend at least an hour daily in the metaverse by 2026.
Despite the slightly pessimistic data from the previous stat, recent studies suggest that the metaverse’s users count will go up regardless—and it’ll do so soon.
Researchers expect 25% of the population to spend at least an hour in the metaverse every day as soon as 2026. It does sound a bit like wishful thinking, but on the other hand, technology does appear to be progressing at an ever faster pace.
Plus, if we count all the Fortnite and Roblox players (there are hundreds of millions of them across the world) as metaverse users, the “quarter of the population” prediction might just come true!
Fun fact: There’s another prognosis that features the year 2026. According to this one, a third companies and organizations will start using the metaverse as a platform, similarly to how they use social media today.
14. There are ~43,000 metaverse wallets.
(Source: Grayscale Investments)
Is the metaverse growing?
Is the metaverse of Web 3.0 companies growing?
Well, kind of. That is, it is growing, but it’s still really small.
Consider metaverse wallets. You need one of them to participate in the Web 3.0 economy (y’know, crypto, NFTs, etc.). At the end of 2021, there were approximately 43,000 such wallets in existence. This means there were also about that many people in Web 3.0 virtual worlds.
On the bright side, metaverse statistics show that this figure has shot up astronomically since the end of 2019, when it stood at around 5,000.
On the slightly less bright side, a couple of thousand people don’t so much as hold a candle to the hundreds of millions on Roblox and Fortnite, for instance.
That said, there are over 220 million crypto users worldwide, so who knows? Maybe they’ll get into the Web 3.0 metaverse, too.
Anyone up for some metaverse predictions?
As you can probably tell, there’s no easy way to describe the metaverse. It’s simply too multi-faceted.
We’ve talked about kids’ games like Roblox, discussed extended realities, explored a bit of crypto, and even delved briefly into military technology.
For now, much of the population doesn’t feel too keen on venturing into virtual worlds. Analysts say that’ll change in due time. What say you?
Do you have any favorite metaverse facts now that you know more than a dozen of them?
We do. And we can’t wait until there are new developments in the field so we can write another article like this.
A wayfarer by heart, Jordan fancies journeying into foreign lands with a camera in hand almost as much as he enjoys roving the online world. He spends his time poking at letters and pixels, trying to transmogrify them into something cool.