We Asked The Experts: What Happened To The Metaverse?

In the not-so-distant past, the concept of the metaverse dominated discussions across the tech landscape. A term coined from science fiction, it described a virtual realm where people could interact, work, and play in digital domains. The metaverse swiftly evolved from a futuristic vision to a reality, captivating the world with its potential to reshape industries and human interactions.

The inception of the metaverse saw tech giants and startups eagerly invest in its development. Companies raced to build immersive environments, brand experimented with it for marketing, and Facebook even changed its name to Meta. This new digital realm promised to blur the lines between physical and virtual existence, offering opportunities for creativity, commerce, and social engagement.

However, just as quickly as the buzz started, it soon stopped. The excitement that once surrounded it appears to have disappeared, leaving many to wonder: What happened to the metaverse?

We asked the experts just that, and here’s what they had to say:


Our Experts

  • Rajesh Dhuddu, Global Head, Blockchain & Metaverse Practice, Tech Mahindra.
  • Arnold Ma, CEO at Qumin
  • Alan Newton, COO & Co-Founder at virtuall



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Rajesh Dhuddu, Global Head, Blockchain & Metaverse Practice, Tech Mahindra



“The metaverse could be widely adopted much sooner than anticipated. The concept of Metaverse is gaining significant attention as a collective virtual shared space, merging physical and digital reality. It is a new approach to enhancing customer experience and commerce value for businesses. By offering do-it-yourself capabilities and immersive brand engagements, it increases brand recall with seamless integrations between physical and digital worlds for a unified personal experience. Both the metaverse and digital twins are becoming gateways to photo-realistic and superlative environments, that also bring cognitive capabilities through real-time and predictive data. The upcoming third generation of the Web, along with blockchain and NFTs, is poised to reach a value of $81.4 billion by 2030. The building blocks are here, allowing developers to create virtual worlds at a rapid pace.

“However, there are challenges to consider during this creation process and the path to creating a complete metaverse solution could be difficult. If the platform remains fragmented and provides siloed experiences, it will never realise its full potential. There are a few roadblocks that businesses must consider before fully immersing themselves in the concept, such as hardware accessibility, network infrastructure, and data security. It’s no secret that the metaverse will generate vast amounts of highly valuable data, and this information will need protecting and managing via strong privacy and data security options for every user.

“To allow metaverse users to build items like property and business, further collaboration between networks, tech providers and regulators is required. This will also ensure the metaverse is accessible, safe and streamlined. Only then will a mass migration into the metaverse be possible.”


Arnold Ma, CEO at Qumin



“A lot of discussions this year have been around how the metaverse is dead and ChatGPT is king. But the scene in China looks different. Zhongguancun, which is like the Silicon Valley of Beijing, released a white paper earlier this summer calling Web3 and the metaverse an ‘inevitable trend for future Internet industry development’. Far from just being a fleeting commercial opportunity, the metaverse is clearly at the heart of China’s vision for a world-leading digital economy. 

“Part of what sets China’s approach apart is the emphasis placed on harnessing Web3 innovations for common prosperity, which means putting technology to work to make society more equal. Tencent has already been driving forward a new era of Internet-based philanthropy in China with its long-running flagship initiative 99 Giving Day. This gamified version of donating, which allows people to support their favourite charities easily via WeChat, has helped lower the barrier to entry in philanthropy and unlock millennials and Gen Zers as active contributors. 

“There is massive potential to migrate this approach to a metaverse space. China’s younger generations are highly receptive to emerging technologies, so a metaverse version of an initiative like 99 Giving Day, powered by WeChat or a future platform, would be a powerful way to attract more funding, and at the same time kickstart the process of integrating Web3 into wider society.”


Alan Newton, COO & Co-Founder at virtuall



“The Metaverse, once a highlight of the 2022 Mobile World Congress, has lost momentum in 2023 due to a 12% global sales drop. This raises questions about its viability and its true definition.

“Coined by Neal Stephenson in 1992, the Metaverse is a virtual space for interactive user-environment engagement. Failure is intrinsic to success in technology, including the Metaverse's journey. Virtual reality (VR), central to the Metaverse, has grown significantly. While early strides were restricted by tech evolution, VR’s market surpassed $6.2 billion in 2020.

“Definitions evolve, as with the Metaverse’ scope beyond virtual reality. A comprehensive definition could be a unified digital universe blending virtual, augmented, and physical realities for user-AI collaboration. VR’s potential is prominent, yet usability and adoption issues persist. The internet, cyberspace, the metaverse; it’s all evolving. The underlying infrastructure and content of the modern internet will be utilised by a range of technologies – VR, AR, MR, XR, IoT, blockchain, AI – to create more immersive, interactive, and integrated experiences.

Choosing fitting technologies is crucial for business success. Rather than blindly adopting hyped tech, understanding the problem and its holistic nature is key. The Metaverse’s value lies in problem-solving and user benefits, not just the technology itself. Effective innovation begins with thorough validation and a mindful approach.”


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