What is the metaverse and how does an Australian investor get exposure to it?

The 21st century has seen a bigger revolution than the steam engine or the Spinning jenny. The internet has profoundly changed our lives in every way imaginable. Whether it is in education, healthcare, social media or entertainment, being able to interact and be online is almost a basic human right. Yet as we grapple with the changes the internet has brought, and regulators play catch up, one of the pioneers has now staked a claim for the next generation of significant technological change.

Augmented Reality

Mark Zuckerberg is set to bring us the ‘metaverse’. He has even changed the name of his company from Facebook to Meta. It is a statement of intent. Zuckerberg is not the sole creator of this new technology of course, but he is the most vocal proponent so far. In simple terms, the metaverse is set to rock our world. It is a combination of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) that will allow us to interact with each other and the real world in an online, 3-D environment. It is about immersive digital worlds. Like being in your own episode of Avatar. But with advertising! As with many drivers of the internet, gaming will be a cornerstone of the metaverse. A Metaverse company that have caught my eye in this space, which have recently made acquisitions and raised fresh funds, as it looks to maximise its metaverse exposure.  

Playside Studios (PLY)

A company we have been following for some time. Playside is the largest listed game developer in Australia with titles such as ‘Age of Darkness’ and ‘Archangel’. Playside has been around for a long time and the management team is highly experienced in the gaming world. CEO and MD, Gerry Sakkas, started his career at Electronic Arts (EA) and founded Playside 10 years ago. The company has recently raised $25m in a placement with a small SPP to come. The purpose of the money is to establish a dedicated metaverse R&D team and new studios on the Gold Coast.  

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