In this Metacast episode, Matt DionAbhimanyu Kumar and Nicolas Vereecke, join your host Maria Gillies to discuss the recent Ubisoft Buyout Interest and if there are any parallels between this ongoing situation and Activision Blizzard’s acquisition. The team also discusses Meta’s struggles to recover market value following its metaverse pivot. Finally, the group discusses Playable World’s recent raise, as well STEPN’s new move-to-earn payment structure.

Ubisoft Attracts Buyout Interest

Meta Struggles to Recover Market Value

  • Context
    • In early February, Meta’s shares dropped by 26%, wiping $230 billion from their market value
    • This was because younger users, who represent an estimated 97% of Meta’s revenue, have been moving to other platforms such as Tiktok. Meta has hence seen a drop in daily users for the first time.
  • Investors are not expecting complete recovery anytime soon, especially considering the huge amounts Meta continues to put into developing the Metaverse.
    • Meta invested $10 billion into the Metaverse in 2021 alone.
  • Meta is not the only major company losing shares. Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company, also reported first quarter earnings that failed to meet investor expectations.
    • A major factor leading to this is competition from Tik Tok, making it difficult for Google to monetise short reels on YouTube.
  • Seeing as how Meta is losing users, this has led some to question the possible profitability of the upcoming Metaverse.
    • The Metaverse will also face a competitive landscape as other companies are aiming to create similar products, e.g. Playable Worlds (which will be discussed below).
    • With the amount Meta has invested, the Metaverse will need a huge user base to break even. However, Meta is already losing users.
    • Meta also plans to charge a high percentage to creators, creating backlash.
      • Meta charges 47.5%, compared to its competitors Steam and Epic Games who both charge about 30%.

Playable Worlds Raise $25 Million

STEPN: Move-to-Earn or Ponzinomics?

  • Context
    • STEPN is a blockchain-based NFT game that tracks the player’s movement to pay them in in-game currency which can be traded for real money. The game includes Game-Fi and Social-Fi elements.
    • It is similar in concept to Axie Infinity, but based around the idea of “moving to earn.”
    • Many have denounced it merely as a ponzi scheme or ponzinomics.
  • STEPN has implemented measures to control the number of players and amount of activity n the economy.
    • An activation code is required to play the game.
    • There is an energy system to limit how much a player can earn.
    • Virtual shoes, which need to be purchased to play, need to be repaired regularly.
  • Additionally, it’s relatively inaccessible for those unfamiliar with cryptocurrency a pair of shoes is very expensive.
  • STEPN stands out against its competitors with the idea of “move to earn” as it encourages their players to live healthier lifestyles.
    • STEPN could think about partnering with health insurance providers to enable players to “earn” money by paying less for insurance.
    • STEPN will likely soon draw attention from sports-related companies such as Nike.
  • Like other digital economies before it, is unlikely to be sustainable.
    • Digital economies often have a lifespan as such: start out being profitable → become extremely popular → inflation occurs → the company struggles to introduce new features to balance the economy.
  • Is unlikely to be the last we see of ponzinomic economies as people will always be looking for ways to make fast and easy money.