Imagining The Disney Metaverse Experience In 2032
Metaverse had quickly become the buzzword of 2021 in the crypto industry. With Facebook recently rebranding to become “Meta”, their acquisition of Oculus VR, and the recent [failed] move to create their own digital currency called “Libra”, it is becoming evident that big tech companies intend to double-down on digital experiences in the coming years. At the forefront of this new frontier are virtual worlds called “metaverses.” As corporations look to profit from the next big boom in the 2020s and 2030s, let’s explore what a company built entirely around imagination and experience like Disney could do with their metaverse.
By Marcus Henry
January 5th, 2021
The metaverse is a brand new iteration of the internet that will be experienced primarily in virtual and augmented reality headsets in the coming years. While virtual and augmented reality headsets already exist within a still relatively small market with limited software development, the headsets that the masses would adopt to leverage metaverse AR and VR are rumored to be in development by the likes of Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, Facebook, Google, and various other entities in the tech space. These devices will likely start shipping out to consumers in 2022. When AR/VR headsets do become a mainstream part of daily life for society over the next decade, so too will the metaverse software platforms that this virtual hardware uses.
The Disney Dream
Disney has long been a company praised by many for being able to deliver high-quality and relatable personal experiences to their audience, while delivering solid returns for their investors. Recognized globally and generationally, they have weaved themselves into the very fabric of western society; making a journey to their theme parks a right of passage for children everywhere, as if the center of Western Civilization. Driven by the genius of the late Walt Disney, who built a culture of imagination, dreaming the impossible, and adopting new technological innovations early and often, Walt had long-focused on immersing his audience in emotionally-charged character-driven plots that ultimately captured their hearts, minds…and wallets.
Given the culture that exists at Disney today, which aims to remain true to the vision of Walt Disney, it will not be a surprise to hear news in the very near future that the company plans to dive nose-first into augmented reality and the metaverse. After all, metaverse will give a whole new medium for Disney to deeply immerse their audiences into their stories, and create rich and engaging experiences like never before; literally bringing audiences into their many “Disney Worlds,” which currently extends to Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, and many more. With imagination and experience at the forefront of metaverse, it almost seems as though Walt Disney, himself, was channeled in its very inception.
“Disney Token” And The Disney Metaverse Ecosystem
A key component that separates a gamified metaverse from a standard mass multiplayer online video game is “digitally scarcity.” In other words, someone can’t just create things within the metaverse with the click of a button as if they were the Federal Reserve printing trillions of US Dollars. This scarcity mechanism is achieved by incorporating a finite amount of blockchain-based digital currency within the metaverse as the method for which transactions are fundamentally based upon within. For this reason, a “DisneyToken” (or MickeyCoin, WaltCoin, etc.) could be a for-purchase digital token for use as the de-facto currency within the Disney Metaverse.
Outside of the Disney Metaverse, the Disney Token could also be accepted as a form of payment at a Disney Store, for Disney+ subscriptions, or even to purchase access to and products/services within Disney Parks. Just like other cryptocurrencies, Disney Token could be traded on cryptocurrency exchanges, added to liquidity pools, staked for APR yielding, and adopted by non-Disney marketplaces as a form of payment.
Governing “Disney Token” with “DisneyDAO”
To ensure proper governance measures are enforced over the Disney Token Network, a “DisneyDAO” would need to be established. This will enforce compliance, transparency and fair practices over the digital currency, while incentivizing token adoption through staking. Knowing Disney will want to ensure firm controls are in place to protect their business and its shareholders, some mix of centralized and decentralized authority will likely be established for this DAO, if not fully centralized all together.
The 100 Billion-Dollar “Disney NFT” Opportunity
Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) have become all the rage in 2020 and 2021; popping up seemingly out of nowhere and becoming a multi-billion dollar industry overnight. NFTs are simply the contractual rights to virtual property, which is logged in an immutable digital ledger that resides on a decentralized network like Ethereum, Decentraland or Solana. These digital assets are already showing viable real-world (and virtual world) use-cases and value, with applications already seen in the art, film, music, retail, collectible, and event ticketing industries. They are garnering major attention and money from the masses, most notably for virtual artwork that is fetching millions of dollars via marketplaces like Opensea.io and Rarable.io.
NFT-based projects are striking mega deals with celebrities such as Steph Curry, Eminem, Snoop Dogg and Doja Cat. They are also seeing acquisitions by multinational corporations like Nike and Adidas for tens of millions of dollars. These moves all signal to massive potential for the NFT industry, and continued growth in popularity for NFTs in the coming years as more use-cases are applied, and more people gain access to this new market.
So how do NFTs fit in with a Disney Metaverse ecosystem? When it comes to metaverses, NFTs exist as the digital property within. This includes virtual real-estate, vehicles, clothing, art, tools, supplies and any other virtual item within the shared metaverse. These limited items enhance user experience and the level of investment in and engagement with the virtual metaverse. For example, someone who owns a plot of land within a metaverse can sell or lease out some or all of the land, build and decorate a property on the land, and then sell or lease out the finished property while acquiring gains along the way. Some rare and/or large items within metaverses are already fetching tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars on NFT marketplaces.
Disney property within the Disney Metaverse would be minted using Disney Tokens, and certified for authenticity using Adobe Content Credentials prior to being sold in the “Disney NFT Marketplace” or other NFT marketplace. Items for sale within the Disney Metaverse will range from virtual real estate, certified Disney NFT artwork, avatars, skins, clothing, event access (think VIP concerts and shows) and whatever else can be dreamed up by one of the most imaginative companies in existence. Users can then buy, sell or trade their Disney Metaverse NFTs, potentially gaining massive real-world profits in Disney Tokens, which can then be used to purchase other property within or outside of the Disney Metaverse, or traded for fiat currencies or other digital currencies on cryptocurrency exchanges such as Voyager, Coinbase, Crypto.com and others.
The Many Streams Of Revenue
If Disney does anything well, it is getting people to open their wallets and spend a small fortune. With that said, they would see their profits from the metaverse through various income streams. Just accessing the Disney Metaverse may require a monthly or annual subscription, which could have a tiered access model which delivers various exclusive products and services depending on the tier.
Within the metaverse, partaking in certain games and watching new release movies might cost a certain amount of Disney Tokens on top of what you subscribe to. As the sole authority on all Disney NFT creation, Disney would see income from the initial sale of all the NFTs they produce. They would then earn royalties forever on these NFTs via a percentage of each re-sale of Disney NFTs by users.
A portion of fees on transactions made using the Disney Token would be paid in interest to DisneyDAO’s token stakers to incentivize holding the token, enforcing governance, and stabilizing the network while a portion would cover network operation costs, and the rest would go back to Disney as profits. Further, premium access to areas within Disney Metaverse, exclusive events and various metaverse-exclusive subscription services would enable further streams of income to name a few. I am certain Disney will find creative ways to further squeeze the orange.
The Disney Metaverse Virtual Reality Experience
The Disney Metaverse can be experienced in two separate ways depending on if the user is accessing virtual reality or augmented reality mode. The engine that powers the success of the Disney Metaverse is the user experience. Since Disney invests a tremendous amount of energy into their audience’s experience, if any company is going to get a metaverse right, it is Disney.
From the moment you put your headset on and sign into the Disney Metaverse in VR mode, you will be transported into this massive multiplayer online VR experience where you will then be prompted to register/sign into your account and customize your Disney-themed avatar with the set of skins available to you, and characters and clothing based off your tier of access. All avatar customizations can be upgraded/customized for higher value items at a cost, and can be unlocked when winning various games/missions, and contests within the metaverse.
Once you’ve created your avatar, you’re ready to take a tour of the beautiful Disney Metaverse and interact with the environment and other users and bots/AI within. You can go on quests in the Disney Metaverse with Disney characters and other users, and observe the hundreds of Disney characters living out their evolving stories in the metaverse as an observer, perhaps even voting with other users to influence storylines and decisions made for/by these characters.
While in various domains within this vast virtual plane, you will enjoy metaverse-exclusive entertainment like performances by Disney characters and/or stars. You can play free games included with your subscription, and meet new friends along the way. Users can join teams on countless interactive adventures, signing up to play high-stakes quests and games that could potentially net the winners prizes in Disney Tokens, Disney NFTs (like rare skins, clothing, and characters for their avatars) and other content and experiences, both, in and out of the Disney Metaverse. Is this all starting to sound a bit like “Ready Player One?”
The Disney Metaverse Augmented Reality Experience
Since the metaverse will have an augmented reality component to it, let’s imagine what a “Pokemon Go” style Disney Metaverse experience might look like. AR will need to be thoroughly tested for safety, as this area of metaverse gaming will likely take the longest to develop and release to the public. This is because AR mode will create a virtual layer on top of the physical world around the user, and there is much room for danger when a virtual display is overlaying your sight. As users travel around their physical surroundings, perhaps they are engaging on a mission to solve a puzzle, locate a character, or find virtual items in certain geographical locations that that can then be used within the VR metaverse.
As you ride as a passenger (driving a vehicle in the metaverse is probably a bad idea) on a train, bus or car, you may see various Disney characters commuting to their destinations with you, or see them traveling on the streets you frequent. Maybe other subscribers who are also logged in to the Disney Metaverse within your proximity will be displayed to you as their avatar, overlaying their physical presence. You may also see parts of metaverse storylines play out that may align with the VR metaverse experience. Perhaps looking up in the sky in certain locations and at certain times will show a battle from Star Wars or Marvel storylines, or actual VR metaverse gameplay happening for you to observe as a spectator. It wouldn’t be a surprise to have an option to view Disney+ content in AR mode.
Online And Offline Safety In The Disney Metaverse
Without thorough safety measures in place, the Disney Metaverse dream could easily become a nightmare. It is for this reason that it would be no surprise to see Disney wait several more years for this technology to mature while best practices are defined, regulations to be set, and extensive health studies to be conducted. After all, safety is going to be paramount for a company like Disney, who’s market largely consists of children and young adults.
Securing the Disney Metaverse to protect people from bad actors will be one of many challenges. Online gaming is already a major area of concern for many parents wishing to protect their kids from strangers and swear words. The implications of technology such as AR and VR need to be studied extensively before made available to children. AR and VR tech is nowhere near perfect, and without building thorough safeguards, people can get severely hurt or worse if they are led to harm as a result of their interaction within the metaverse (think jumping off a cliff or running into traffic to obtain a digital item). It is for these reasons and many more that the Disney Metaverse may remain something that is only permitted for users 16 years of age and older once it is even made available.
Dreaming The Disney Metaverse Into Existence
The metaverse really does become a risk/reward challenge for Disney as they explore their future growth roadmap for the next 10 years. Looking at trends with AR and VR technology, cryptocurrency, NFTs and Metaverse, it becomes clear there is a lot of opportunity for Disney to capitalize on this new virtual frontier. A company like Disney that has audience experience as the cornerstone of their existence would likely not turn their back on such a massive opportunity.
As we start 2022 by looking ahead at all the exciting technology and innovation, it is clear that metaverse tech will only continue to scale alongside the rest of of web3 infrastructure and technology, building valuable new experiences for users, and opportunities for those who wish to build these new experiences. What do you think Disney Metaverse will be like in the future? Be sure to let us know on twitter @cryptosaucenews.
Disclaimer: The information above does not constitute investment, financial, trading or any other sort of advice and you should not treat any of my content as such. I do not recommend the purchase, sale, or holding of any cryptocurrency or other product and nothing I write about should be deemed as an offer to purchase, sell, or hold a cryptocurrency or other product or service. Please do your own research and consult a certified financial professional before making any investment decision.
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