Metaverse More Popular Among Younger Audiences, Study Says

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A study by Bain & Company found that the metaverse is more popular among younger audiences which could have long-reaching effects on the entertainment industry as a whole. The same study also noted that video games had eclipsed other forms of media, such as music and television shows, as the preferred entertainment medium.

The study — covering areas from the U.S., Brazil, China and Japan — also shows that the primary audience for the metaverse consists of younger gamers. These younger gamers are spending more time and money in the metaverse than older people, and the gap is only expected to increase as time passes. Global Head of Bain & Co.’s Media & Entertainment Practice Andre James chalked it up to the older audience having less knowledge about metaverse-related technologies and media.

“There has been a lot of buzz, and plenty of confusion, among the business community on what the metaverse is and how it will shift commerce and life into the digital realm,” said James, as per a Bain & Co. press release.

The company explains that the metaverse games that are doing the best have a strong emphasis on social interaction and immersion. The ability to become a creator is also a huge draw, alongside a high level of access across multiple devices.

The study also found that half of younger gamers prefer to socialize using digital mediums like games or a metaverse rather than organize in-person meetups. Bain & Co. predicts that more events, such as concerts and sporting events, will be hosted in the metaverse in the future to match the preferences of younger audiences.

“Meanwhile, young gamers have been paving the future of the metaverse. They have adopted to metaverse-style games, often preferring to socialize with friends in games more than in person. They are increasingly comfortable with virtual reality, so even those that don’t currently play in the metaverse are likely to do so in the future,” said James.

A changing industry

Beyond changes in the target demographic, Bain & Co. also expects the industry and games to change. The study noted that payment models such as monthly subscriptions and “free-to-play” models that utilize microtransactions increased the average revenue per user. The older demographic prefers models that utilize a one-time payment, while 56 percent of younger audiences said they were comfortable spending money to improve their in-game performance. Also, keeping with prior conclusions, younger audiences preferred to play with and compete with others, while older players were more likely to play alone.

“Long-term player engagement will be dominated by games that can scale and have a world and community that exists beyond the initial video game,” wrote the company.

Bain & Co. also found that most game companies pay less than average compared to competitors. As the audience for the metaverse grows, game companies will need to adjust their talent strategies to attract and retain people. Coding talent will be in high demand, and companies looking to deliver a metaverse experience will experience a shift in structure to become more attractive to talented coders, the company predicts.

“We will see this through traditional above-market compensation and benefits as well as providing opportunities to work at companies that are more virtual, less hierarchical, leaner and more agile.”