Metaverse Stocks

Should You Invest in the Metaverse Hype?

By now, you’ve probably heard endless buzz about the metaverse – tech’s shiny new plaything that all the big companies suddenly claim will revolutionize human existence as we know it. But beneath the hype cycle, what is this metaverse stocks thing, and is it truly a wise investment opportunity worth your hard-earned money?

What the Metaverse Is… and Isn’t

As with most emerging tech concepts, the metaverse label has already been stretched to an alarmingly vague degree. In its purest sense, it refers to a shared virtual space facilitated by the internet.

Rather than discrete, closed gaming worlds like Roblox or Fortnite environments where users exist alone, the ideal metaverse would connect various virtual spaces into an interconnected, interoperable ecosystem that users could freely navigate. It’s less revolutionary “new” technology as a meeting junction for how the internet may evolve.

The most metaverse experiences available today are very basic. Examples like:

  • VR Chat – A relatively primitive, user-hosted virtual world where users can customize avatars and worlds to some degree, but with limited user counts per instance and no currency/asset interoperability.
  • Roblox/Fortnite Creative Modes – Games that allow users to build their own virtual spaces and creations but are locked within each proprietary ecosystem and are unable to travel between or combine worlds.
  • Meta/Google VR Apps – Simplistic VR meeting spaces or tech demos focused more on showcasing foundational VR/AR collaboration rather than persistent virtual realities.
  • Decentraland/Crypto VR Games – Blockchain-based virtual environment experiments centered on cryptocurrencies, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and decentralized finance (DeFi) – but mostly empty and very early prototypes.

Essentially, while the technological backbones of the metaverse vision do steadily progress, most consumer-facing metaverse products are predominately little more than gaming Trojan horses, retrofitted justifications for existing virtual world platforms to rebrand and advertise their familiar wares under a hot new buzzword.

Critical Metaverse Investment Themes to Monitor

So, while the notion of a true metaverse still feels like cyberpunk fantasy years from meaningful fulfilment, you should still pay attention to innovation trajectories advancing the core creeds behind that vision.

Regardless of what label you choose to apply to emerging 3D technologies, user behaviors, and asset tokenization, the following areas all represent investable options today with likely increasing relevance whether the metaverse stocks hype persists or not:

Virtual/Augmented/Mixed Reality (VR/AR/MR) Hardware and Software – The ability to simulate digital worlds is predicated on VR/AR/MR hardware and software. Major players (Meta, Google, Microsoft, Apple) and startups are tackling persistent obstacles surrounding visual quality, latency, user comfort, and seamless mixed-reality scenarios combining virtual and practical environments.

3D Modeling/Rendering Platforms – Creating and customizing those virtualized digital worlds and assets requires advanced 3D modeling, real-time rendering, and game engine software. Companies like Unity and Epic Games are at the forefront and key facilitators if persistent virtual worlds are ever realized.

Motion Capture and Avatar Rigs – For genuinely immersive and collaborative virtual presences, advanced motion capture, kinetic tracking, and seamless avatar rigging tools will be required far beyond current standards. Startups and academic researchers are working out core foundations to represent human embodiment digitally.

Blockchain/Cryptographic Digital Ownership – Expressing digital assets and identity ownership without centralized authorities is critical for an open and traversable metaverse. Companies working on blockchain, NFTs, and applied encryption technologies will be essential infrastructure.

Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Agents – To avoid virtual worlds devolving into empty, lifeless wastelands, convincing AI digital agents populating spaces will likely be required amid avatar representations. Research into photorealistic character simulations and believable NPC automation figures will be pivotal.

Interoperability Protocols and Virtual Internet Infrastructure – Seamlessly transporting users and assets between virtual environments requires interoperability middleware liken to internet protocols and networks. Decentralized networking, universal graphics delivery, and creator-driven protocol standards need comprehensive invention.

User-Created Assets/Virtual Economies – Rather than relying on pre-programmed content alone, metaverse worlds require economies driven by user-generated assets veritably produced, traded, monetized, and collected. This means intuitive digital merchandising platforms, virtual property systems, and open self-sustaining microeconomies need development.

The Metaverse Stocks Investment Opportunity in Perspective

So, if you’re an investor asking if the metaverse stocks are currently a wise investment, the short, unfortunate answer is: not really. As an all-encompassing singular phenomenon generating revenues directly anytime soon, the metaverse remains a vague future promise, not an operating present-day business.

However, intelligently directing capital into shaping the technological pillars that will underpin and power that future reality could pay off massively over time. Much like early internet protocol investors many decades ago.

The Bottom Line

As an investment subcategory combining hardware, software, and networking innovations, computing platforms and the businesses driving them forward deserve consideration for forward-looking portfolios based on their numerous non-metaverse utilities already emerging in the present day.

But those with much shorter-term time outlook probably should only buy into the metaverse stocks directly if allocating toward decades-long investments without expectations of monetization anytime soon. Otherwise, stick to the surrounding tech that are generating rational revenues in present day and stand to benefit from growing tertiary digitization regardless of the current marketing conditions.