Gamers are bombarded with press about the metaverse, from think pieces to product announcements, but what do they really make of it all?  Facebook Gaming and Newzoo joined forces to launch a 2022 survey to get insight into player sentiment, from what they think of the press to what they expect from the technology, products, and developers — and most importantly, how it varies across gamers, from the players at the hyper casual end to the AAA console, publisher and developer side.

In a virtual session at GamesBeat Summit 2023, Stephen Gray from Facebook Gaming at Meta shared his takeaways from this crucial industry research. Afterwards, he dove into a discussion with Tim Lion, Head of Gaming Marketing from Facebook Gaming at Meta and Alexis Pamboris, Research Partner at Newzoo, about the future of the metaverse for gamers.

“The goal of this was to build industry knowledge to the extent that we can provide some advice to developers,” Gray said.  And in the course of the research, they learned that the spectrum of gamer readiness and enthusiasm for a metaverse is an enormous one, and success depends on meeting your consumers where they are in their metaverse journey.

Here’s a look at what they found — and what it means.

The major takeaways

The survey covered six markets, and tapped respondents who play for at least one hour a week on any platform, Gray explained. They ended up with four segments: the casual gamer, two separate midcore groups (one leaning to the casual side and the other more serious), and those truly hardcore players. The survey dove deep into player sentiments, but Gray highlighted four major takeaways:

  1. About half of all gamers know what the metaverse is — but that number is driven by the hardcore gamer. About 50% of those respondents are enthusiastic about it, but again, that response varies across the spectrum of gamers.
  2. Gamers are already involved in the metaverse and adjacent-technology experiences, with about a third or so using VR and AR, and almost half using cross-platform play.
  3. Toward the hardcore gaming side of the spectrum, players are excited about playing games, while casual gamers are far more interested in non-gaming metaverse experiences like virtual travel.
  4. Gamers are as familiar wit...