Metaverse Universe update Q2 2023

Since 2006, we have been tracking and analysing virtual worlds, with the objective of providing insights through our Metaverse Universe chart. Our chart divides VW platforms operating in the Metaverse by access method and technology type.

Firstly, we segment virtual worlds as either accessed via a browser/app or a VR HMD headset (Head Mounted Display). Secondly, we categorise virtual worlds as either Web2 (centralised platforms) or Web3 (blockchain-operating platforms). We then place each virtual world into the appropriate category and asign different-sized indicators to represent the size of each platform where we have monthly active user data.

There are currently 154 virtual worlds either live or in development (an increase of 5 from Q1 2023) and a total MAU count of 520m. You can read more about our analysis of Metaverse MAUs in this post. The segment with the highest number of MAUs is the Web2 cohort for virtual worlds accessed via app or browser and is shown below. This is currently the most attractive market for brands wishing to enter the Metaverse market. Clearly, this sector is heavily led by Roblox, Fortnight and Minecraft, supported by other platforms such as Avakin Life.

The second segment contains Web2 virtual worlds built for virtual reality. This contains a smaller number of both worlds and users, due to the installed base of HMD's still being low. This sector is still niche and facing some turbulence until the number of HMD owners increases. Notably, Microsoft decided to sunset Altspace VR last quarter, shown as a black circle in our chart.

Moving over to Web3 (virtual worlds built on blockchains), the VR segment is shown below. As per it's Web2 counterpart, this is also a small cohort of MAUs.

The last segment contains browser/app based Web3 platforms. This is a cohort that has seen a significant amount of investment in the last 18 months and in our opinion is over-populated with too many platforms chasing too few users. An additional issue with this sector is that too many of platforms have similar product profiles - generic open worlds attempting to offer too many different user activities.

We offer high-resolution versions of the Metaverse Universe chart and accompanying analytics for free. If you are interested in receiving a copy, please request it here. Our team is committed to providing comprehensive and up-to-date insights into the virtual world industry, with the aim of helping brands make informed decisions in the Metaverse.

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