The movie Avatar first introduced to this generation the concept of living in another body and in another land. The color, the lights and the fantasy of it all caught the imagination of millions. Now Hollywood explores its place in the metaverse and this could mean that a huge jump toward full immersion for movie fans everywhere.
If the Metaverse seems like a term straight out of science fiction, that’s because it is. In his novel Snow Crash in 1992, novelist Neal Stephenson first used this word to define a multi-connected virtual universe that simulates the real-world and allows people to experience practically anything. Now, seemingly overnight, the metaverse became a common macro goal that big tech companies are pouring in billions of dollars to achieve. And a look at the developments in the past year will tell you that this virtual universe is closer to “reality” than ever.
The implications of the metaverse could be huge. There are numerous industry experts who believe that it could potentially be worth trillions of dollars, affecting every part of the global economy. But of course, the immediate implications of the metaverse would be felt in the online gaming and media & entertainment industries where immersive experiences are relatively easier to build due to our current advancements in these two spaces.
This is probably why entertainment industries across the world, especially Hollywood, are taking strides towards the metaverse.
Where Does Hollywood Fit Into the Metaverse
Hollywood is considered to be the oldest film industry, entertaining people for over a century now. This industry survived the major industrial revolutions, the world wars, recessions, and even the rise of the internet and streaming services. It was quick to adapt to changing consumer patterns over the century and stay relevant through it all.
However, the dawn of the metaverse probably presents Hollywood and entertainment industries across the world with their biggest challenge yet. We mean watching different stories play out on screen could become less appealing when you can live your own cinematic experiences every day on the metaverse. There are virtually no bounds to the possibilities, and the entertainment industry knows that this could be a problem. They have to adapt to this new narrative quickly and find a way to thrive in the metaverse. And it appears as though Hollywood is already taking steps in this direction.
In 2021, Hollywood insiders actively explored blockchain technology for content creation and audience retention and they seem to have found the ticket to the metaverse in NFTs. The rising trend of these digital collectibles presents a golden opportunity for actors, filmmakers, and production houses in Hollywood to permanently etch their work in the metaverse, and they’re making the most of it.
In this regard, Warner Bros (NASDAQ: WMG) launched and sold out a Matrix Resurrection-inspired NFT collection that featured 100,000 NFTs. A previously unreleased demo of a Whitney Houston song was auctioned off as an NFT for nearly $1 million. And now, Mogul Productions, a decentralized entertainment, and NFT platform came with the first character-driven NFT series called Mogies to celebrate 100 years of the Hollywood sign unveiling. All of these NFT projects have proven to be successful so far, garnering mass attention. Who knows these NFTs could probably end up on walls of fans’ digital houses in the Metaverse. However, to survive in the Metaverse, Hollywood might need something more concrete and they know it.
The industry is now also looking into developing iconic character avatars to integrate into various parts of the Metaverse. Walt Disney’s Disney+ project is a stride in this direction. Millions of people from across the globe travel to Disneyland (NYSE: DIS) every year to experience the world of Disney firsthand. So, it is fair to say that the Disney Metaverse with these timeless characters would be a welcome windfall for fans.
Marvel and DC might follow suit on this given the sheer number of iconic characters they have produced and before you know it, fans might be saving the world with the Avengers in a Marvel Metaverse. The Metaverse presents a huge opportunity for Hollywood to move beyond just films and open new dimensions in the world of entertainment.
The Symbiotic Relationship
The Metaverse is an inevitable future that is soon unfolding. NFT sales topped $17 billion in 2021 and tech giants like Meta (NASDAQ: FB) have officially entered the race. And now, with Hollywood taking the Metaverse seriously, it is only a matter of time before the Metaverse becomes a reality. While the Metaverse might take Hollywood to new levels of success, Hollywood, with its huge fan base, has the power to take NFTs, blockchain, and digital assets mainstream to create the decentralized world we’ve all envisioned.