Individuals and tech giants alike are racing to stake their claims in the new frontier of The Metaverse. But how will The Metaverse differ from the Internet? As Supreme Court justice Potter Stewart said while admitting his inability to define obscenity in a landmark 1964 case, “I know it when I see it.”
Imagine a future cyberspace where VR video games are interconnected with cryptocurrency enabling users to profit and spend in the real-world from their virtual creations and adventures. Or a concert across the planet where you can join your old friend virtually as a hologram at the show while your favorite band plays a song that you own as an NFT. (Non-Fungible Token art are unique, collectable and non-transferrable digital assets recorded on blockchain, such as Etherium.)
In 2021 the average person spent almost 7 hours per day of screen time so there is a lot of money to be made in the coming years and the pop culture world is geeking out over the possibilities of this new virtual space.
And wherever there is pop culture, there are collectibles. In fact, last August, pop culture leader Marvel announced that Spider-Man was coming to the world of NFTs with a series of uniquely posed NFT statues priced from $40 to $400.
According to a report by Market Decipher, a market research and consultancy firm, the current collectibles market size was estimated at $412 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $628 billion by 2031.
“Digital NFT Market Collectibles is the fastest growing segment with a CAGR of 14.2 percent during the forecast period. The NFT industry is witnessing enormous growth with some product segments acquiring as high as a 1,400% growth in a quarter (i.e. around 14 times the market),” the report revealed and that’s music to David M. Sterling’s ears.
“The Metaverse is going to have everything we have in the real world, only with magic,” said Sterling, Chief Operating Officer of Good Gaming, Inc. (OTCQB: GMER), one of the emerging digital collectible companies moving into the Metaverse space. “And just as collectibles are a big part of pop culture, digital collectibles will eventually dwarf the market for physical collectibles.”
And Sterling should know, having guided SONY’s movement into the digital space over the course of 16 years. With more than 25 years of experience in devising data-based content acquisition, production, marketing strategies, managing talent, creative production and driving ROI through digital innovations, Sterling is one of the industry’s most cogent voices on The Metaverse.
The evolution of packaged media to fully digital media is nothing new, however, and Sterling believes it is finally coming of age.
“Take comic books, as an example, just because they are content that are also collectibles,” Aft said. “The first digital comic books offered as online subscriptions appeared in 2002, with many creators like Gary Larsen (The Far Side) and Berke Breathed (Bloom County) choosing to reboot their creations as digital-only offerings. Digital collectibles are the next logical step, and it’s already a huge marketplace.”
Sterling believes that content and intellectual property creators will be the key to Metaverse success with digital collectibles that communicate an inherent status/identity enhancement for the owner.
“Marvel getting into the game is like a starting gun going off,” Sterling added. “It will open the door for independent content creators and smaller publishers getting into the game, and comic books and video games have always followed similar paths, sometimes with the same IP. The creation and sale of Marvel skins in Fortnite was a harbinger for the gaming industry to move into the digital collectibles space as part of their migrations to the Metaverse.”
What’s unclear about the future of digital collectibles is the technology standard for trading. For instance, Good Gaming has established Blockchain as its primary platform, having recently launched its own line of digital collectibles, The Genesis Collections, connected to its Microbuddies™ game. The Genesis Collections NFTs are being built on Ethereum, which will allow the company to reach the much larger, mainstream NFT community with a familiar entry point providing familiar onboarding and the potential for mass adoption, according to a company press release.
“It’s rare that a new marketplace like digital collectibles emerges with such a massive market opportunity and a high rate of early adoption,” Sterling said. “As such, the market is doing what markets do – burst through the door with lots of competition and chaos. In time, the playing field will level, and a standard for trading will emerge. We think Blockchain will be important in this evolution.”
Matt Fitzgibbons is an award-winning singer-songwriter and the founder of PatriotMusic.com.