This Tuesday, a report from leading immersive firm Meta Platforms, produced by Deloitte, analysed the economic forecast of Metaverse services across the US, Canada, the Middle East, North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Turkey, and Asia.
The report predicted that Metaverse solutions, active across various markets such as retail and manufacturing, could generate up to $402 billion and $760 billion in annual US GDP by 2035. Alongside that, Meta’s forecast predicted that Metaverse services would generate $36-68 billion in Canada, £54-103 billion in the UK, €259-289 billion in the EU, $9-17 billion in Nigeria, and $0.9-1.4 trillion in Asia, and $20-38 billion in the KSA by 2035.
According to the Meta report, business end-users are utilising Metaverse solutions to create new and optimise existing revenue streams. Meta notes that brands use Metaverse services to sell digital products and provide virtual try-on customer experiences.
Moreover, the report highlights how immersive services add value, improve online communications, and create new opportunities for frontline workers via XR solutions like remote guidance and immersive training.
A Deeper Dive into Meta’s “Optimistic” Figures
The Meta report provides various insights into the state of the Metaverse. The report leverages data highlighting growth rates in regional mobile technology adoption to inform Meta’s forecast for the growth rates for Metaverse adoption.
However, obviously, Meta’s prediction would appear fruitful, but what exactly does the report show?
Meta, and report collaborator Deloitte, boldly predicted that Metaverse services would provide 2.8 percent to global GDP after ten years. Moreover, global estimations for a potential market size valuation of the Metaverse sector clock between $800 billion and $2 trillion. Meta also predicts that in a long-term forecast, widespread Metaverse adoption could generate up to $3 trillion to $30 trillion worldwide, with the “most optimistic” final estimate reaching more than $80 trillion.
In its “The Potential Global Economic Impact of the Metaverse” report, Meta also noted:
If Metaverse adoption were to begin today, our estimate of a $3.01 trillion (in 2015 U.S. dollars) contribution to global GDP in 2031 would be on the high end of the near-term projections, consistent with our ten-year time horizon being longer than that of the near-term projections.
The study found that 10% of businesses in the EU already use AR and VR, compared to 9% in the United States. The study also found that the continued development of the Metaverse could contribute an additional €259-€489 billion per year to the EU’s GDP by 2035.
The UAE and KSA are both investing heavily in Metaverse ecosystems. KSA is investing $1 billion in metaverse-related projects as it seeks to become a global technology hub.
Challenges and Opportunities
“The Metaverse is still in an early stage,” says Meta, the firm notes that it is crucial to develop the infrastructure required for the successful distribution of Metaverse services. Moreover, the firm notes the importance of designing an inclusive, diverse, immersive future.
Moreover, the Menlo Park-based firm noted that it is essential to promote XR adoption, explaining that brands and consumers must overcome the “Trough of Disillusionment” and “Slope of Enlightenment” stages.
A strong understanding of the underlying technology infrastructure is critical to establishing Metaverse solutions. Successfully developing, deploying, and supporting a commercial or enterprise Metaverse solution requires various integrated technologies.
From hardware to software, technology innovation will lead to lower form factor devices and increasingly accessible immersive services, in theory, promoting Metaverse adoption.
Other considerations Meta outlines are country/regional-specific challenges in the form of governing bodies, child safeguarding, accessibility, and inclusivity.
Metaverse Faces Widespread Adoption
In a KPMG study released earlier this month, about 47 percent of UK customers believe Metaverse services will be widely adopted in the next ten years.
According to the KPMG UK study, consumers in the UK appeared to have divergent views regarding Metaverse services. Some people who were questioned lacked trust in Metaverse usage and growth projections.
KPMG UK found that 37 percent of the people surveyed were optimistic about the Metaverse’s future, 31 percent had negative predictions, and 32 percent lacked sufficient knowledge to form an opinion.
Again, the statistics show that almost all UK customers have an almost equal third split. Amid a general lack of knowledge in the emerging technology space, the data may demonstrate that consumers still need education on the Metaverse marketplace and its potential benefits.
Ian West, the Head of Technology and Alliances at KPMG UK, said:
One of the main issues with the metaverse is that there is a lot of confusion around what it is. Some people argue it’s been around for years through things like gaming headsets, so being clear around what a metaverse future looks like will not only help consumer confidence, but business confidence too.
The KPMG report additionally featured how young UK shoppers are more hopeful about Metaverse services. The report says that two-thirds of 18- to 24-year-olds still have a favourable opinion of the Metaverse, while 18 percent still have a negative opinion. Meanwhile, 42 percent of people between 55 and 64 have a negative opinion of the Metaverse.
According to a separate KPMG and Forrester Consulting study, 84 percent of the businesses surveyed intend to increase or maintain investments in enterprise-grade Metaverse services.
However, most companies questioned by KPMG believe that significant Metaverse use cases will begin to emerge in the next ten years or more.