4 min read

70 Ways to Experience the Metaverse

There’s obviously a lot of interest around the metaverse, particularly from a corporate investment and growth perspective.

The global metaverse market size was estimated at USD 38.85 billion in 2021. It is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 39.4% from 2022 to 2030. – Grand View Research

Naturally, it has become a great buzzword. But it’s only a buzzword because it’s so hard to define. I committed nearly 200 pages of writing in The Metaverse Handbook to coming to a solid definition. And I still don’t feel confident that I have a concise definition, outside of calling it The Spatial Web.

The reality is that we’re in the midst of creating the metaverse. And it requires many intersecting technologies that will make the metaverse an upgrade to the current Internet.

Jon Radoff designed a great Metaverse Market Map showing the 7 primary verticals of metaverse development. Over the next week, I’ll be adding to and elaborating on Jon’s Metaverse Market Map by organizing the players in each vertical and briefly describing what they do.

In this note, we’re starting with Metaverse Experiences, the first of the 7 categories of metaverse companies. These are companies and apps providing a way to experience the metaverse today.

XR Metaverses

The most common way people think about the metaverse is as virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) applications. This is largely because Facebook pivoted to a heavy focus on virtual reality and rebranded to Meta, the metaverse company. Whether through AR or VR, the metaverse will extend our reality (XR) into new dimensions and ultimately land in a spatial version of the Internet.

These are companies and apps providing XR metaverse experiences:

  • AltspaceVR – The VR app for events
  • Demiplane – Designs digital tools to bring tabletop games online
  • DOGAMI – Raise a puppy in augmented reality
  • Fable Studio – AI-powered virtual being designer
  • Fortnite – Free-to-Play social gaming metaverse
  • Gather – Virtual office space for remote teams
  • Hologate – Builds VR attractions and game installations
  • Horizon Worlds – Meta’s world-building platform
  • IMVU – Avatar-based 3D social experience
  • Immersed – Virtual workstation provider
  • MeetinVR – Meeting space in virtual reality
  • Minecraft – Social sandbox game for building and gaming with friends
  • Netvrk – VR-based metaverse with ownable assets
  • Niantic Labs – Builds AR worlds/games including Pokémon Go
  • RAVE SPACE – Virtual 3D club
  • Rec Room – Social sandbox game for building and gaming with friends
  • Reworld – Social sandbox game for building and gaming with friends
  • Roblox – Social sandbox game for building and gaming with friends
  • Second Life – Social sandbox game for building and gaming with friends
  • Somnium Space – Virtual sandbox game with freedom to build and create
  • SpatialChat – Virtual officespace for remote teams
  • Supernatural – VR fitness game developer
  • Together Labs – Empowering people to connect and earn in virtual worlds (IMVU creator)
  • Valve – MMO video game developer and publisher
  • VRChat – Social network in virtual reality
  • Wave – Producer of live, virtual entertainment company
  • Zepeto – Open-world social metaverse

Blockchain-Based Metaverses

Not everyone subscribes to the idea that a metaverse must use the blockchain to be considered a metaverse. I personally do. However, I realize that building blockchain applications and getting users to understand how to use these brings a lot of friction at the moment, which is why I still consider the above XR applications to be early metaverses.

Nonetheless, here are the companies and apps that are building metaverse experiences with blockchain integration:

  • Blankos Block Party – Free-to-Play open-world blockchain game
  • Bloktopia – Decentralized VR metaverse game
  • Challau – Social 3D virtual world
  • Com2us – Immersive content and blockchain gaming services platform
  • CryptoVoxels – Blockchain-based virtual world owned by its users
  • Decentraland – Blockchain-based virtual world owned by its users
  • Dusty Multiverse – Blockchain-based virtual world owned by its users
  • Dvision Network – Open-world metaverse owned by players via NFTs
  • Illuvium – Open-world exploration and NFT collector game
  • Lamina1 – Layer 1 blockchain optimized for metaverse economies co-founded by Neal Stephenson
  • Life Beyond – Web3-enabled MMO game
  • Parallel – Vast sci-fi universe with five factions battling for home
  • Playable Worlds – Building sandbox metaverse worlds
  • The Sandbox – Blockchain-based virtual world owned by its users
  • Spatial – Blockchain-based virtual environment builder
  • Upland – Open-world game with virtual economy
  • Yuga Labs – Creator of Bored Ape Yacht Club and blockchain metaverse, Otherside

Blockchain Games

Gaming will be a major on-ramp to the metaverse because gamers are already comfortable socializing in digital spaces for hours on end. Blockchain games are an interesting middle-ground between the blockchain/web3 metaverse of the future and the familiar world of video games. And they are a means of onboarding people to the idea of decentralized, blockchain-based virtual economies which the metaverse will rely on.

These are the companies and apps providing blockchain gaming metaverse experiences: