The concept of the metaverse, a highly immersive digital world focused on collective social interaction, has its roots in Neal Stephenson’s 1992 science fiction novel Snow Crash. Familiar to gamers through popular titles like Minecraft and Roblox, the metaverse has also been brought to the big screen in recent films Free Guy and Ready Player One. When people talk about the metaverse today, they are likely referencing the virtual reality world proposed by Mark Zuckerberg and Meta (formerly Facebook).
Zuckerberg envisions that by 2030, there will be over one billion people using the metaverse for work and play. This prediction is supported by revenue projections, pointing to significant impact on various industries, including online casinos. As technology has influenced the gameplay of online casino games in the past, the emergence of Virtual Reality (VR) has the potential to bring exciting developments.
Companies like Microgaming and NetEnt have already showcased the possibilities of VR in online gambling. Microgaming introduced a virtual roulette table in a digital outer space setting at the 2015 Game Developers Conference, while NetEnt debuted VR slots like Jack’s World VR and Gonzo’s Quest at the 2016 ICE Totally Gaming Conference.
In the initial phases of the metaverse, online casinos may offer the option to play VR games alongside traditional offerings. However, it could progress to fully functioning VR casinos, providing a comprehensive virtual gambling experience similar to physical casinos.
The metaverse may also lead to a rise in social gaming within virtual casinos, allowing players to engage with others from around the world in an immersive digital environment. Additionally, the metaverse could potentially drive the widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies as a universal payment method for both gaming and non-gaming sites.
Overall, the emergence of the metaverse presents exciting advancements for the online gambling industry. While the transition to a fully digital playing experience may be gradual, it is probable that traditional casino games will still coexist with futuristic metaverse options for the foreseeable future.