Gaming companies are poised to be on the metaverse's cutting edge, former Nintendo of America President and COO Reggie Fils-Aimé recently told Yahoo Finance.
"I do believe that this vision is something that we're all marching to," he said. "I do believe it's going to be led by gaming companies and I do believe that — if delivered in a way that's fun, that's compelling — it's an experience that people will want to have."
In the last year and change, the 3-D virtual world known as the metaverse has come to the forefront of tech and business discourse — though it has sometimes attracted ridicule. Facebook, for instance, was roundly mocked for its name change to Meta Platforms (FB). However, Bloomberg Intelligence estimates the metaverse could be an $800 billion market by 2024, up from $500 billion in 2020. The growth of the metaverse is counterintuitive perhaps, since it's something people, companies included, often struggle to describe.
Notably, the features that everyone pretty much agrees the metaverse will have are all things that gamers are deeply familiar with: virtual reality, augmented reality, avatars, and immersive digital spaces. To that end, Fils-Aimé believes that gaming and the metaverse go hand-in-hand.
"I describe [the metaverse] as a space that's immersive and interactive, a space that has the ability to be modified, but can still be persistent," Fils-Aimé said. "Imagine walking on sand, and seeing other footprints — that's an example of where you're able to modify an environment but it is persistent. You've seen what other people have done."
Content's still king
In gaming, the metaverse, and beyond, content is still king, especially when it's authentic to a company's brand and purpose, said Fils-Aimé.
"What I see are a number of key developers bringing content to bear in the marketplace that's capturing the attention of players," he told Yahoo Finance. "One I would call out is FromSoftware. They've got a game called Elden Ring, which is dominating popular conversation... They're an example of a company that's stayed true to what they are — they build incredibly difficult games, and they launched one with a very high-quality metric that's truly captured popular attention."
Additionally, Fils-Aimé — who recently published his book, "Disrupting the Game: From the Bronx to the Top of Nintendo"— spoke about the challenges of pursuing a company's goals as pressures mount in a difficult macroeconomic environment.
"My counsel would to, first, to focus on your vision," said Fils-Aimé. "Focus on the key drivers that you're looking to push forward in your business and don't lose sight of that. Despite all the supply chain challenges, despite inflationary pressures, despite all the noise, you need to focus on your North Star and drive the organization there."
Allie Garfinkle is a senior tech reporter at Yahoo Finance. Find her on twitter @agarfinks.