Discover Who’s in It and Why It Matters

Chances are you’ve already heard about the metaverse… with all the buzz around it, it would be hard to avoid it! This virtual universe that comprises of a series of connected digital worlds promises to have unlimited opportunities for anyone who may be seeking them. People have found an outlet in the metaverse to game, socialize, and be entertained. But it doesn’t end there—many big brands are sparing no time in building a marketing home in the metaverse due to the promise of commercial success. While this elusive universe is certainly a work in progress, the opportunities it presents seem to be diverse… much like its population.

Meet the Meta-folks!

Who populates the metaverse?

Currently, we have identified five groups in the metaverse, four of which are notably active.

A closer look at gamers in the metaverse

Gaming is popular, and Americans across all demographic stripes participate. According to the Electronic Software Association (ESA), nearly 227 million Americans played video games in 2021: two thirds of adults 18+ and three quarters of those under 18 years old. The average player is 31 to 35 years old (varies by survey); 38% of all players are ages 18 to 34, with another 14% between 35 and 44. Interestingly, 7% of players are 65+, 9% are 55 to 64, and 12% 45 to 54. During the pandemic gaming became more of a family activity, with 74% of parents playing games with their children in 2021, up from 55% in 2020.

Roughly 70% of Gen Z, Millennials, and Gen Xers are playing games on their smartphones daily, according to research from Tapjoy.

Playing habits vary by demos. Younger players are more likely to play shooter games (e.g., Fortnite, Call of Duty). Those 35+ gravitate more to casual games (e.g., Tetris, Solitaire) and to a lesser extent, action games (e.g., Grand Theft Auto, Super Mario Odyssey) and arcade games (e.g., Pac-Man Pinball FX3). Players 65+ are more likely to play on a computer while younger players tend to favor game consoles and smartphones. Roughly 30% of game players own VR devices.

Not sure how to integrate virtual reality into your strategy? Check out our blog on Augmented and Virtual Reality.

As game preferences would suggest, we see that Fortnite skews far younger than the gaming population overall, with 63% of players 18 to 24 and another 22.5% of players 25 to 34. Nearly three quarters of its players are men. But parent company Epic has plans to reach far more consumers through other offerings moving forward.

Roblox is a different phenomenon, since its platform offers over 40 million games to its users, who have a very young profile among gamers, with two thirds under 17; additionally, 51% are male, 44% are female, and 5% register their gender as “unknown.”

Are you listening to gamers when developing your marketing plan?

Advertisers have started paying attention to the gaming community. This year, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) ran PlayFronts, the first upfront media event dedicated to gaming. While gaming accounts for under 6% of current digital ad spend, we don’t think that will last for long. Insider Intelligence forecasts US mobile gaming ad revenues will reach $6.26 billion in 2022, up 14.0% from $5.49 billion in 2021.

It should be noted that gaming is a strong component of what the metaverse has become, BUT gaming as a whole is not necessarily part of the Metaverse. Playing Candy Crush or Wordl does not mean you are in the metaverse, but you may be one step closer to it than someone who does not play any games.

Not sure what to do next? Check out our white paper The Metaverse: What’s a Brand To Do and start today!