Building the metaverse will require extraordinary cooperation and collaboration between many of the biggest organizations in the world. So, who are the most important metaverse companies right now?
With its recent name change, Facebook might be the company that has the most association with the metaverse right now – but they’re certainly not the only company working (and playing) in the metaverse space.
The metaverse is a concept of a shared platform, made more lifelike by using virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR), that users can access through different devices and platforms. Many metaverse users will have an avatar that can walk around and interact with other players.
So, who are the biggest, most important metaverse companies right now? Check out this list to view the biggest contenders:
- NIVDIA’s Omniverse is a real-time, physically accurate simulation built for creators, designers, engineers, and researchers who need to collaborate in a virtual space. NVIDIA is a world leader in computer graphics hardware, and its products were originally developed for gaming. Now they provide the processing horsepower and deep neural networks that power today's AI.
- Unity Software already offers a popular platform for developing 3D content, and more than 70% of the world's top 1,000 mobile games were built by individual developers using their platform. Unity has the capability to give artists and creators the tools to be successful in the metaverse, so everyone can work together to create content for the metaverse.
- Online game platform Roblox announced at the GamesBeat Summit Next event in November that they plan on designing a metaverse that caters to players' needs and empowers its community with tools that facilitate a safe atmosphere and help maintain virtual relationships. However, Chinese regulations might make it difficult for Roblox to launch in China, despite the company's willingness to comply. Since Roblox has an enormous customer base in China, this could be a major setback.
- Epic, the company behind the smash-hit video game Fortnite, has now moved beyond their traditional video game fare into social experiences like virtual music concerts and dance parties where people can dress up their avatars and build islands. Epic CEO Tim Sweeney has argued that his company wants the metaverse to be a participatory, common space.
- Autodesk is a cloud software firm that makes programs used by engineers and architects to design and create products and buildings. Autodesk’s software is also used to build virtual worlds for gaming and entertainment.
- Microsoft has a more business-centric use case for the metaverse called Mesh. Mesh enables immersive collaboration with mixed reality, using avatars and holoportation (which allows people to project themselves directly to others in the VR and AR worlds). You can use Mesh on HoloLens 2, VR headsets, mobile devices, or desktops with any Mesh-enabled app. Mesh will also include avatars within Microsoft Teams, as another way to collaborate virtually.
- E-commerce giant and cloud services vendor Amazon will likely have a metaverse mall and multiple media offerings that will play a huge part in the metaverse.
- Google failed with Google Glass, but won’t miss the metaverse opportunity. “I look forward to excellent innovation in the metaverse,” Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt told CNBC. “I’ve been waiting for about thirty years. ... As to whether Facebook will build that, I don’t know.”
- Meta recently changed its name from Facebook to better reflect its focus on the metaverse. No other company is investing as heavily in building the metaverse as Mark Zuckerberg’s media empire. Meta is also a leader in VR (with its Oculus devices) and AR (with its recent launch of smart glasses).
And of course, companies like Apple, Samsung, and HTC will be important equipment manufacturers for the metaverse.
If you would like to learn more about the rise of virtual and augmented reality, check out my latest book: Extended Reality in Practice: 100+ Amazing Ways Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Reality Are Changing Business and Society.