We recently published our updated Metaverse Universe chart showing virtual worlds grouped by technology (on/off blockchain and browser/HMD access). To accompany the Universe we've also developed the Radar chart that segments VWs by genre. As per the Metaverse Universe charts, this schematic shows launch dates, status, and the number of MAUs. The eight major genres of the Metaverse Radar chart are as follow:
Social Hangouts and Small Spaces
Including both VR and non-VR virtual worlds, this segment contains typically smaller environments as opposed to persistent open worlds. These platforms are more about hanging out with friends rather than exploring expansive worlds and making new ones. They're also more about 'usefulness' and availability 'on-demand' than say the ability to create objects or items (UGC). Due to the requirement to have a VR headset (HMD) to access some of these worlds, plus the focus on social as opposed to gaming, VWs in these two segments typically have an older average aged user base from 16 upwards.
Entertainment and Events
Of course, many VWs enable in-world events such as concerts but the platforms in this segment focus heavily on these activities, primarily based on music. Some of the VWs here are working with real-world musicians whereas others are more a platform for creativity.
These types of 'Vertical Worlds' (VWs targeting specific pastimes, activities, or topics) have higher user monetization rates and ARPU's compared to VWs with more generic or open-ended user experiences. The average user age depends on the genre for these types of VWs. Real-world brands have major opportunities by partnering with vertical worlds and the ability to monetize users via virtual goods or utility NFTs is higher than VWs in most other sectors.
Users Generated Content
Sure, many worlds allow users to create content and assets but the VWs featured in this segment have built mechanics and environments to openly encourage it. As such, they are encouraging people to make items and contribute to their internal economies. UGC worlds live and die by their ability for foster and support creative activities as well as provide community-building features in their core feature-sets. The sweet-spot average user age for UGC platforms ranges from 8 through to 15. Monetization rates are also higher than most other segments.
Gaming and Questing
These are VWs that cater primarily to younger audiences by having gaming mechanics at the heart of their experience. This segment includes more traditional gaming themes such as questing and challenges but will see a number of real-world sports crossovers such as football (both footballs), baseball, and the like. Successful VWs in this segment are the ones that can create compelling achievement-based gaming environments.
Fantasy and Space
It's interesting that so many VWs in development are space or fantasy-themed. Many of these platforms involve exploring new worlds with mining and battling as core elements. Average user ages for these types of VWs are 25 - 35.
Large Open Worlds
VWs in this cohort often have elements of other genres but what sets them apart is the scale of the world. They are expansive free-roam Metaverses often without a defining 'purpose' but nevertheless still garner loyal audiences and multi-faceted experiences. Users tend to be late teens and upwards.
Real Estate and Mirror Worlds
VWs with land sales as a core feature is in this segment. This is currently where a lot of the action resides, especially using NFTs as the driver. It's slightly worrisome that some of these platforms in development don't appear to have a roadmap beyond the initial land sale phase, so, it remains to be seen if they'll generate healthy MAUs.
Mirror worlds are VWs built to replicate the real world, be it famous landmarks and in some cases entire cities. Digital Twins fall into this category.
Nurturing and Avatar Centric
VWs that are pet-based (with nurturing gaming mechanics) are in this section along with dress-up, dating, and fashion-themed platforms. Average user ages fall into the Kids, Tweens and Teens cohort (KT&T).
The overall Metaverse Radar chart is shown below. Get in touch if you'd like high-res versions.