The Metaverse is far beyond just another video game, the virtual reality space has quickly grown to include multiple platforms, digital assets, marketplaces and now, international brands. Already worth $47.48 billion, experts project that the industry valuation will reach $678.8 billion in 2030. It’s no wonder why big brands are joining in on the action.

Disney Embracing The New Frontier

In September, Disney alluded to entering the metaverse space with a new job listing looking for a senior attorney with experience in the digital world. Specifically, the role called for someone who can work on “transactions involving emerging technologies, including NFTs, blockchain, metaverse and decentralized finance (DeFi).”

This comes in the wake of CEO Bob Chapek’s comments on his team's experimentation within the metaverse space, describing it as the “next great storytelling frontier” and saying that he was ultimately “blown away” by it all. Watch this space.

Nike Just Did It

No strangers to the world of cryptocurrency, Nike jumped on the NFT bandwagon a while ago. This endeavor proved to be a lucrative move as Dune Analytics recently reported that Nike’s NFT sales had brought in more than $185 million. A mammoth earning when compared to Adidas’ $11 million and Dolce & Gabbana’s $26 million for their NFT efforts.

In December, the footwear corporation acquired the NFT Studio RTFKT to further its NFT endeavors.

In November last year, Nike become one of the first brands to embrace the metaverse, launching its own Nikeland in Roblox. The virtual space features games, entertainment, and a store selling virtual sneakers and other goods in the form of NFTs. Within the first five months, the virtual space had attracted almost seven million visitors.

Walmart’s Expansion Into The Metaverse

Also opting to use the online gaming platform, Roblox, Walmart launched two new virtual spaces this week, “Walmart Land” and “Walmart’s Universe of Play”. Roblox boasts 52 million active daily users, so it comes as no surprise why big brands are opting to use the platform.

Earlier this year, Walmart filed several patents for NFTs, virtual goods, and a virtual currency, a classic move in line with their strategy to create community, content, entertainment, and gaming in a virtual space.

These two new experiences were described by Walmart’s Chief Marketing Officer, William White, as testing grounds for future expansion into the VR world. Through these “immersive experiences,” the brand aims to push people to real-world stores while including online orders and strategic product placement opportunities.

White added that the brand is content with focusing on “driving relevance in cultural conversation … developing community and engagement … [and] moving the needle [on] brand favorability” while they take the time to properly explore and navigate the space.

More To Come

These aren’t the only big brands exploring the new virtual land, we can expect to see many many more following suit. Breathing new life into the NFT market, these metaverse platforms and experiences allow brands to offer something new to their consumers, building more substantial connections and brand loyalty. Is the metaverse the future of marketing? Time will tell.

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