97% of executives in a new study believe that the gaming industry is central to the development of the Metaverse, and 48% said the Metaverse will change the business models of game companies and generate revenue while providing brands with new opportunities to build relationships with their customers, according to new research from Ernst & Young.
Notably, 95% of executives said they believe non-gaming companies would benefit from tracking how gaming companies engage with the metaverse and applying it to their own industries.
SEE: Metaverse Cheat Sheet: Everything You Need to Know (Free PDF) (TechRepublic)
“In terms of how gaming companies operate, the metaverse could lead to significant changes in their business models, the way they develop their products, the skills needed by employees – even the way these companies are structured,” Scott Porter said. , EY. Leader in media and entertainment consulting services in the western region of the Americas. “Game leaders are aware of these possibilities and are planning for them.”
These game industry executives plan to increase R&D funding over the next three years, invest in new technologies and hire new skills, according to Porter. “In the next few years, we will most likely see these structural changes positively affect the quality and scope of what is offered to players in the metaverse.”
According to EY’s US report, unlike recent spikes in M&A in the tech sector, only 15% of executives agreed that M&A would best position them for growth over the next three years. Instead, half of respondents highlighted increased research and development funding and 44% investment in new technologies, with a focus on organic growth and innovation, the report found. .
Personalized and immersive experiences and data security are vital
As gamers increasingly enter personal information into the metaverse to best personalize their unique experiences, gaming companies will be responsible for protecting that user data from cybercriminals.
According to EY’s report, gamers who want to visit exciting places in the metaverse won’t stay long if they feel their personal data or security is at risk. In contrast, gamers will patronize and return to platforms and products offered by companies they deem transparent, secure, and trustworthy, suggesting that cybersecurity is key to a personalized gaming experience and loyalty. to the brand.
Porter said the increase in user data in the Metaverse, coupled with the purchase and trading of assets in the Metaverse, will also increase the possibility and incidents of cyber crimes.
“Cybercrime can look like any number of things: you can have cybercriminals looking to obtain personal information such as credit card numbers, stealing virtual goods, selling fake non-fungible tokens, carrying out denial of service distributed on gaming platforms, or even by selling virtual goods or “hacks”, which are marketed to improve a player’s performance when they are, in fact, ransomware trojans said Porter.
Game executives are well aware of their obligations to protect information and validate that games and platforms are safe environments and they take those risks very seriously, Porter explained.
Based on gaming survey data, 47% of gaming executives believe that mitigating cyber risk is a major challenge today. Looking three years into the future, that number jumps to 58%.
“We’ll see more gaming companies mitigate security issues by hiring employees with advanced cybersecurity and data analytics skills, gaining visibility into gaming endpoints, and partnering with third-party cybersecurity companies. “, said Porter.
Already, 47% of executives already have or plan to hire employees with advanced cybersecurity skills, while 39% have or plan to partner with third-party cybersecurity companies.
By implementing effective measures around both personal safety and cybersecurity now, gaming companies will be in a better position to help shape industry dialogue around these issues now and in the future.
Game makers don’t know how to integrate NFTs
NFTs, which in games can include digital assets that players own in their virtual universes, have the potential to be a building block of the metaverse economy. According to EY’s US report, gaming executives believe NFTs increase customer satisfaction, increase margins, and improve product and service visibility.
Despite these benefits, 90% of executives said their company currently does not have a viable business model to leverage NFTs. To bridge this gap, successful game companies will focus not only on developing NFT technology that supports what gamers want, but also doing it in a way that is mutually beneficial for gamers. and businesses, the report says.
Wanted: advanced cybersecurity, data management skills
As game companies step up their efforts to identify metaverse opportunities, they are also facing an influx of available user data. The task of protecting this personal information from cybercriminals means that gaming companies will need to attract talent with a background in data analytics and cybersecurity.
In fact, nearly half (47%) of gaming executives said they were confident they would be able to manage cyber risks by hiring employees with advanced cybersecurity skills. Additionally, 32% said using data collected by their companies is a significant challenge today.
In this environment, companies plan to revamp their data management skills, with 47% of survey respondents citing hiring new employees with advanced data analytics skills as a top data priority. It’s also critical for gaming companies to hire people who understand the implications of decentralized and distributed ecosystems, according to the EY report.
Developers, designers and other technologists will also be key to gaining an edge in this competitive market. The EY report found that 45% of executives cited the need to think differently about hiring because of the new skill sets they are looking for, while 40% said improving the technology capabilities of their current employees is a priority.