Can you Develop in the Metaverse? How to Monetize It?


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What is the metaverse in very basic terms? Why should someone invest in land in the metaverse? Can you be a developer in the metaverse? How to monetize it? Dave Carr, head of Business Development at Parcel, who also previously worked at Decentraland, one of the most popular metaverses, shares his knowledge.

What is the metaverse, from someone that would not even know it is to begin with?
The Metaverse is a more immersive version of the internet. In the very early days of the internet, you would go to very specific websites, now it’s very much a seamless part of our lives. But you would visit these destinations, and you would do things and then you would go to another website. I think we can look at the current virtual worlds as these new versions of these websites that you used to visit. If we take an example of Decentraland, you can access it via your regular browser. There are other virtual worlds that you can access from a desktop client, like an app that you will put onto your computer, there are some worlds that you can access through your virtual reality headset and you are effectively walking, or your avatar is, and you look around and see buildings that have been created. You're able to play games, it's what we say is an immersive version of the internet. Then brands and organizations can have an existence and a profile in these virtual worlds, whereby because of its interactive nature, you can interact with brands. So what that means for virtual real estate is that if I am walking through a virtual world, I'm walking around on land that can be purchased and can be used to create a shopfront, a game world, an art gallery, all sorts of different mechanisms and experiences for the people who are logging in and walking around these worlds to interact with an experience.

I get the part that we don't have to deal with tenants, we don't have to deal with leaky roofs or cleaning up after anything, you can lease the property out. Is there anything else that an investor would be able to monetize within the metaverse that we haven't covered yet?
I think anybody looking to buy land in a virtual world really needs to think about the long game. Let's think about it like a video game, you can be a console owner, like you can own PlayStation, an Xbox, or a Nintendo, but if you don't have the games and the experiences on that console, it's just a box. I think you can probably think about this the same way with virtual worlds, you can build these worlds, you can sell the land. But if there is no value being added to these properties, in the form of festivals or games that people enjoy playing, or content that makes people want to visit and also come back and revisit then the land will not have the value. You can rent that land so there can be a rental income, there are also things like fractionalization that could potentially divide up the land and sell off those individual parcels.

Does that mean that I could build a multifamily apartment complex in the metaverse, or condos and sell each unit?
I imagine that's entirely possible and that comes down to fractionalization. If you look at some of the things that are coming up with just digital art NFT's, whereby a group of people individually can't afford to buy this one piece of art so they pull their resources, they then identify those pieces that they each want to have shared ownership. And just as a developer puts up a building, then each of those different apartments are bought by different people, and they form that corporation that ends up managing the building, then I think there's no reason why this couldn't happen in a virtual world.

Dave Carr

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