The idea of spending thousands or even millions of dollars to buy fictitious “land” in a virtual world may sound absurd. But in recent months, we have seen significant investments in virtual land within the metaverse. PwC is among the latest to dive in, having purchased real estate in The Sandbox, a virtual gaming world (where adidas has similarly acquired land), for an undisclosed but likely handsome sum. If other reported sales are anything to go by, PwC likely paid a handsome sum. One person recently bought a plot of land in the Snoopverse, a virtual world rapper Snoop Dogg is developing within The Sandbox, for $450,000. Meanwhile, Tokens.com’s Metaverse Group bought a plot of land on virtual platform Decentraland in November for $2.43 million.
These deals come amid the rise of the “metaverse,” a term that has been used a lot as of late, including when Facebook re-branded to Meta in October 2021. The metaverse describes a vision of a connected 3D virtual world, where “real” and digital worlds are integrated using technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). This immersive environment will be accessible through the likes of VR headsets, AR glasses, and smartphone apps, and users will meet and communicate as digital avatars, explore new areas, and create content. The idea is the metaverse will develop to become a collaborative virtual space where we can socialize, play, work, and learn.
There are several, individual metaverses already – for example on virtual gaming platforms like The Sandbox and virtual worlds like Decentraland. In the same way a website is part of the broader 2D world wide web, individual metaverses are expected to one day form a larger, connected metaverse. And just as in the real world, it is – and increasingly will be – possible to buy things in the metaverse, including real estate.