Over the course of 2022, numerous entertainment brands began dipping their toes in nascent metaverse waters. One sector that’s been ramping up its metaverse presence lately is esports. FaZe Clan, for example, which went public in a SPAC deal during the summer, has announced its plans for a 12×12 plot of virtual space in metaverse platform The Sandbox called “FaZe World.” In partnership with Animoca Brands (which owns The Sandbox), FaZe Clan will launch FaZe World next year to offer more immersive experiences and digital goods to fans while connecting them with the org’s creators.
In addition, FaZe will be selling virtual real estate surrounding FaZe World so that fans can become virtual neighbors to the leading esports and lifestyle brand. FaZe Clan CEO Lee Trink believes that the metaverse is a natural fit for esports orgs like FaZe. “Gaming is foundational for Web3’s future and that’s where our roots are,” he said in July. “As Gen Z embraces more immersive experiences and participates in ownership of the brands and creators they love, we’ll be enabling and supporting that.”
As orgs like FaZe Clan and others have looked to evolve beyond competitive gaming, fashion and merchandise have become bigger revenue streams. In the metaverse, this same lifestyle push can be seen in the form of digital self-expression through avatars. Gen.G is the latest to try its hand at fashion as it has partnered with Crocs to launch digital wearables in the Zepeto metaverse. The Crocs x Zepeto Experience effectively bridges the gap between Crocs’ physical products and its digital presence as it features shoes and apparel from Crocs’ latest summer collection. Gen.G’s content creators will also support the collaboration in Zepeto by outfitting their avatars with the various Crocs items.
The metaverse and adjacent technology like NFTs is primarily being leveraged by brands and esports orgs to bolster engagement with fans. That’s why Yesports launched its own platform to help esports companies get into the metaverse. This is an area that’s poised for growth over the next few years. Interpret’s New Media Measure® shows that the gaming and esports communities do have strong synergies with the burgeoning metaverse. In fact, 27% of esports viewers in the US report being extremely interested in the metaverse, compared to just 16% of the general population and 19% of gamers.
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