BCG Henderson Institute

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There’s mayhem in the metaverses. With stock markets going into free fall since the beginning of the year, the valuations of metaverse platforms have imploded. For instance, the share price of Roblox has tumbled by around 75% while that of Bitcoin has fallen by 50%.

Building virtual worlds is a capital-intensive process that’s now complicated by the fact that raising resources will prove to be a challenge. It’s never been more critical therefore for metaverse platforms to develop profitable and sustainable business models.

Like other B2C companies, metaverse platforms —such as Decentraland, Discord, Fortnite, Roblox, or Topia— have to increasingly rely on brands, and the network effects they trigger, to grow revenues. None of the current major platforms will be able to survive for very long without real-world brands helping them generate revenues. That’s why The Sandbox has struck four times as many partnerships in the last 12 months as it had since 2012. Revenues in the metaverses won’t stem from just product placement or pop-up advertising; the focus must be on gaining attention for brands through highly engaging & immersive experiences including gaming or concerts. For instance, Roblox describes its partnerships as shared experiences rather than as ads.

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