Can India be the ‘next billion’ in the metaverse
What some people regarded as a fad has morphed into a multi-billion dollar industry, which is still growing in leaps and bounds. The Metaverse is redefining how we use the internet to work, play and earn. And everything in-between. It’s a disruptive technology that took off immediately after Facebook’s rebrand to Meta in October 2021.
On explaining the metaverse, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, “The next platform and medium will be even more immersive and embodied internet where you’re in the experience, not just looking at it, and we call this the metaverse.” Essentially, the metaverse is characterized by virtual reality, augmented reality, and online gaming.
Here’s the interesting part. India is among the top countries that are actively involved in the metaverse, following the United States, Japan, and Indonesia. This can be attributed to their increasing number of young populations, smartphone usage adoption, and the ease of digital payments. India has a crucial role to play in the metaverse. Read on to discover why they could be the next billion.
Why India can pioneer the rise of the Metaverse
In 2021, a whopping number of 42 Indian startups were valued at over $1 billion, displacing the United Kingdom as the third largest ecosystem of unicorns. Although not all of these startups are in the metaverse industry, it’s an indication that India has a thriving tech system that is worth paying attention to.
India is not a rookie when it comes to digital innovation. They have a robust digital infrastructure and financial system that accelerates the level of technological adoption. You will agree with me that India is the biggest market for WhatsApp, Instagram, and some other tech products. Even the novel play-to-earn gaming market is beginning to witness an influx of daily users and adoption from India.
“The online gaming sector in India has seen a lot of growth over the past few years and our investment in gaming in the country keeps growing as we look at how it’s going to take shape in the metaverse,” said Mark Zuckerberg. And on top of that, the Indian gaming market is growing at an unprecedented rate and is projected to hit $7 billion by 2026.
As if that’s not all, India’s Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Market stood at $1.83 billion in FY2020 and is forecast to grow by 38.29% until FY2027. These are not just random statistics; they’re clear pointers to the fact India will be the next big thing in the metaverse.
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India’s role in the metaverse
Given the ever-increasing rate of video gamers, virtual reality (VR) and other metaverse-related activities in India, they have an undeniable role in the metaverse. Because as more people turn to the metaverse for gaming, VR, virtual real estate, and investing, it will herald the emergence of more startups to service the population. Which will increase India’s market share in the metaverse.
In addition, the government of India has recently laid out its National Strategy On Blockchain to help foster digital transformation in the country. The strategy is aimed at creating a trusted digital platform through shared blockchain infrastructure that promotes and facilitates digital service delivery to citizens and businesses. It all boils down to making India a global leader in Blockchain Technology.
With the collective support of both individual startups and the government, India will become a force to reckon with in the metaverse. India is primed at being the ‘next billion’ in the metaverse, and there are no signs of slowing down.
The Philippines: A test to the play-to-earn gaming model
The play-to-earn gaming model is not a new concept. However, it became popular in the Philippines during the covid-19 pandemic. At a time when the world was ravaged by the pandemic in 2020, and everyone was forced to stay at home, most Filipinos were busy making money playing a video game — Axie Infinity.
Axie Infinity allows users to make money through cryptocurrencies, and NFTs by battling and trading pets called Axies. Unlike before that, users can only get fancy points playing games; this time those coins have utility and are being used as means of exchange. This triggered the growth of the play-to-earn model in the Philippines. Now, the average time spent using game consoles by Filipino internet users is 91 minutes.
The video gaming penetration in the Philippines was a test to prove that the play-to-earn model can work. Because it’s the first country that recorded early success and user growth with the P2E gaming model. Currently, the Philippines still remains the country with the highest number of gamers worldwide.
However, India’s gaming industry is synonymously growing at an incredible rate behind the Philippines. Here’s the thing. India is experiencing the rise of the play-to-earn gaming boom, with lots of people jumping on the trend.
Several tech companies like Meta and Microsoft are betting on India’s gaming industry. With the statistics and recent trends, It’s only time before India becomes the next sensation in the Metaverse.
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