Meta is investing heavily in its VR experience called Horizon Worlds, and big brands like Nike, Wendys, and Gucci are partnering with gaming platforms like Roblox (and Meta) to create immersive branded experiences. In the art sector, museums such as the Musee Dezentral create navigable NFT art exhibitions.
The sector has also played a role in recent corporate mergers and acquisitions: Nike acquired digital design firm RTFKT, design agency Work&Co acquired full-stack development firm Presence, and Microsoft said it would buy game developer Activision Blizzard for $68 billion. Growth is not expected to stop anytime soon: by 2030, the sector will be valued at 700 billion.
Companies and brands want to prepare for the new era of immersive technology, which means they will begin to prioritize designers with experience in developing immersive applications, including AR/VR, games and other 3D media. says Benjamin Bertram Goldman, Metaverses advisor for virtual manufacturing and Sequin AR, adding that one of the biggest business lessons in the 21st century is that design matters.
It seems that the interest in augmented reality (or XR) in tech companies is leading to an increase in digital design positions, specifically UX and 3D designers, hardware designers, architects, engineers. Meta currently has over a hundred open positions on its career page specifically for AR/VR. Roblox has hundreds of metaversion related positions.
"A lot of money is going to be spent on VR and AR applications over the next few years," said Janet Murray, a digital scientist and professor in Georgia Techs digital media graduate program, in an interview with Shaping Design earlier this year.
The biggest opportunity (and more natural fit) for brands seems to be Gen Z gamers, specifically. In a recent VICE/Razorfish survey, nearly half of respondents who spend 12 hours a week gaming said the Metaverse is a truer expression of who they are than the real world, and 33% said they would be interested in brand showcases. in the metaverse.
Amidst all this uncertainty and cash, one thing is clear: designers will have a leading role in shaping the virtual world we want to see.