Hype or not, video and esports experts are talking about the metaverse. We caught up with some folks attaching themselves to this undefined term, “metaverse”, to get some 2022 predictions that may or may not impact the video gaming industry. Either way, a great way to start the new year…. dreaming what if.

Geoff Kowalski, Chief Revenue Officer, ESTV:

ESTV is the first worldwide 24-7 live linear video channel dedicated to esports that streams live linear feeds and AVOD services, providing round-the-clock coverage of esports athletes and gaming franchises.

Ellen Zavian: What does the metaverse mean to you?

Geoff Kowalski: The metaverse is more of a coop of all digital platforms realizing maximum market share in an evolved demand-driven environment. By accepting that consumers are multi-screening and engaging brands and content across platforms simultaneously, there is a willingness for brands to open their markets so consumers can continue their engagement when crossing platforms, serving as influencers for said brand throughout the metaverse.

Ellen Zavian: How will esports be part of the metaverse?

Geoff Kowalski: The size, growth, and shared yet nuanced interests within esports makes this increasingly powerful community the frontline champions of innovative technology that enhance engagement. With brands losing access to younger consumers due to the ongoing trend of 'cord-cutting' there is a large budgetary appetite to acquire the next generation of young professionals and the heads of households. This advertising and media spend serves as a continuous infusion of capital into the esports industry, fueling the engaging solutions that deepen consumer, gaming, and brands relations. For gamers, who already concentrate within shared spaces, playing nicely, the transition should be seamless for these fans and participants, as long as they perceive to gain greater value.

Ellen Zavian: What are your concerns about the metaverse?

Geoff Kowalski: With any innovation comes both the search for new solutions and the opportunity for nefarious activities. Current trends are strong and 'optimistic' from many perspectives, but regulation will undoubtedly have an impact on both the incentives of the commercial sector as well as opportunities for consumers to gain greater value via the enhanced experiences of the metaverse. While the unknown activities occurring before regulation is of concern, the ability to predict market opportunities will be less certain until these forces take effect.

Ellen Zavian: With your expertise, what keeps you up at night?

Geoff Kowalski: I think more about what is keeping Meta (formerly Facebook) up at night. They are realizing that in order to preserve their market share during a time of heavy scrutiny they will have to 'get along' with other platforms, companies and the end consumers. Conversely, Microsoft (Xbox), Amazon (Twitch), and Google GOOG +0.4% (YouTube) have not embraced the metaverse publicly yet because of the experiences the parent companies of the major esports and media brands have with regulations, which have balanced their risk as they have already solidified their position in other, corporate markets. Apple AAPL +2.8% will embrace the metaverse in a similar way as Roku and Samsung, as hardware providers that will facilitate the metaverse and its communication of entertainment media to its end destination.

Read the full Forbes article: Esports And The Metaverse - Predictions For 2022