Understanding the metaverse by studying developers

By August 5, 2022Metaverse
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Understanding the metaverse by studying developers
(Image credit: WOCinTech Chat)

Organizations entering, creating and selling in the metaverse will benefit enormously from understanding the perspective of developers and how the challenges impacting them will ultimately have repercussions.

Currently, three specific issues standout:

  1. the demand to prioritize time with the metaverse developer community over focusing on algorithms;
  2. the escalating anti-Zuckerberg sentiment felt by artists that will influence the development of the metaverse; and
  3. the continued calls for greater accountability as keeping track of the blockchain changes — as do the actions of wallet watchers.

While executives may view these as downstream problems, each poses a risk to companies attempting to maximize opportunities in the metaverse. Organizations can learn how to strengthen their relationship with metaverse developers, produce better metaverse experiences and content, as well as overcome hurdles that would otherwise compromise long-term return on investment.

Developer issue #1: Prioritizing time

Executives who value time should be able to empathize with metaverse developers. There are the expected responsibilities – the enormous amount of time and energy and attention to detail that must go into the actual development of the virtual space – as well as the lesser acknowledged demands of networking, constant education, and pursuit of the latest information in a ceaselessly evolving space.

Beyond being fixated on a screen in creation mode, developers are required to learn endlessly in a similar way doctors and dentists are required to update their knowledge of a practice or field while also being expected to attend to patients. While companies want the best virtual experience for their customers and employees, the ability for developers to actually construct such a dynamic world is challenged by the time demands they face in the real world.

To assist developers in this battle of responsibilities, companies overseeing metaverse development should include in-person and virtual networking sessions as components of the overall task. Businesses should invest in the education of their team by offering access to events that will teach their developers about the latest coding, styling and approaches to metaverse construction.

The progress of actual development should be weighed against the advancements being made across the metaverse. Organizations will be rewarded for ensuring their product and experience is regarded as the latest in metaverse development, and such praise can only occur if the company’s creators have access to the latest tools and teachings.

Developer issue #2: Growing anti-Zuckerberg sentiment

Depending on one’s history and perspective, sentiment regarding Mark Zuckerberg can be one of enormous respect to downright hatred. Zuckerberg’s Facebook, now Meta (or Meta Platforms), has represented an Apollo mission of daring and success — pursuing new horizons of possibility and challenging previous established notions of limitation — while also embodying the qualities of greed, ownership and competition that have soured many developers. As Zuckerberg continues to claim his stake in the metaverse, the intensifying negative emotions around the business icon are having an influence on how creators are conceiving of the metaverse.

According to reports, Meta invested $10 billion in the metaverse in 2021 and expects to increase its investment even more in the coming years. Zuckerberg is approaching the metaverse with the same mentality he brought to social networking through Facebook: be the most technologically capable, provide consumers with the experience they want and own the best talent.

The issue of greatest concern for him may be that last part: owning the best metaverse developers.

While Zuckerberg’s and Meta’s pockets are certainly deep enough to attract the brightest stars of metaverse development, years of poor public relations and mounting negativity about the CEO and founder are having an effect.

More developers are openly anti-Zuckerberg, not only rejecting offers from Meta but also seeking alternatives to a Meta-dominated metaverse. How this rebellion against the evil empire Meta will play out remains to be determined. However, companies engaging in metaverse development need to understand how their virtual experience may benefit from Meta’s massive investment in the metaverse or how finding developers who are anti-Zuckerberg might help the company create a unique product that actually drives greater interest.

Developer issue #3: Keeping track of blockchain changes

The metaverse is highly dependent on the blockchain. For the metaverse to be monetized and profitable, understanding blockchain is essential. However, a challenge being confronted by metaverse developers are changes to the blockchain and a lack of accountability to oversee such changes.

Crypto wallet watchers are dependent on a variety of blockchain providers to ensure secure payment for virtual apparel and merchandise, access or other transactions. As these providers make alterations or updates to their blockchain, some developers are left in the dark and unable to keep track of such changes. This threatens a developer’s ability, as well as the company’s to collect the financial rewards for the development and engagement of the metaverse experience.

While prioritizing time and the growing anti-Zuckerberg sentiment are two issues confronting metaverse developers right now, no issue is more concerning than the lack of accountability in tracking the changes of the blockchain. Without greater supervision of these changes, revenue will be lost, investments will be squandered, and the developers who are reliant on the funds from their creations will become desperate for assistance.

To address this, companies making efforts to expand into the metaverse should devote resources to a team of metaverse developers and install a system or staff for monitoring the changes in fintech/blockchain technology that are so critical in converting the metaverse into a cash generator rather than bottomless pit of costs.

Why the developer perspective matters

For organizations pursuing expansion into the metaverse, developers should not be thought of as virtual world construction workers or freelance labor.

Companies should view metaverse creators as partners in a revenue-focused venture. By doing so, those creators will add even greater return if their concerns are addressed. Whether it be prioritizing time, considering the preferences regarding larger players in the space, or providing additional tools or team members to oversee changes that make a substantial difference, acknowledging the obstacles preventing a developer’s success will ensure the building process is faster, more efficient, in line with cost-revenue expectations, and ultimately resulting in a superior experience for users.

The metaverse remains an unlimited source of possibility and business potential. Like most aspects of a business, installing the right individuals and eliminating their issues will be essential in getting the most out of a company’s metaverse exploration.

Wyatt Ferber is the director of Business Development & Partnerships at Boathouse, an innovative full-service marketing agency.

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