Metaverse hype is easing & companies are focusing to their gaming roots


With the cold of crypto winter seeping in, brands are becoming increasingly skeptical about the concept. Basically, in-game ad companies are backing away accordingly.

PlayFronts, an Interactive Advertising Bureau event in April, highlighted the relationship between in-game advertising and the metaverse. Many of the presenters were intrinsic in-game ad vendors. The IAB is about to release updated measurement guidelines for in-game advertising. They were ready to assert their product’s role as the foundation for programmatic advertising in the virtual world.

Frameplay, an in-game advertising company, kept the metaverse at arms’ length. During its own PlayFronts presentation, wary of playing into marketers’ misconceptions. While the company occasionally mentions the metaverse in forward-facing messaging, it has relied mainly on its gaming roots for marketing.

Marketing expectations about the metaverse often differ from reality. As the metaverse picked up steam in early 2022, in-game advertisers did not necessarily go to great lengths to clarify their association with this tantalizing concept, as Hollywood films like “Ready Player One” sketched out a fully immersive and interoperable virtual world.

During the second half of 2022, in-game ad companies began reducing their focus on the metaverse. As Digiday interviewed in-game advertisers for this report, they all believed that if the metaverse occurs, it will come from gaming. Unfortunately, they’re less confident that consumers and brands are as interested in the current state of the metaverse as the hype suggests. Gaming is king for now, but in-game advertising will return to the metaverse eventually.

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