- The Korean government has launched a multi-pronged 5-year plan for the metaverse.
- The country said it will nurture 40,000 professionals and 220 companies specialized in metaverse technology.
- Korea announced Thursday that it plans to become the fifth-largest metaverse market by 2026.
If you thought the metaverse craze was about to calm down in 2022 following its explosive growth last year, then you’re probably wrong. This year, the metaverse is not just capturing the attention of some of the world’s biggest brands, it is also beginning to warm itself into the top echelons of the global economy.
On Thursday, South Korea became the latest country to embrace the metaverse, revealing one of the most detailed plans for the new immersive world we’ve seen yet.
The government said it will nurture 40,000 professionals and about 220 companies specialized in metaverse technology to achieve its goal of becoming the fifth-largest metaverse market by 2026.
Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT launched a pan-governmental strategic blueprint that will help it adapt to the economic and social changes brought by the metaverse.
The ministry plans to achieve its goals on four main verticals, including activating the ecosystem for metaverse platforms, nurturing professionals, fostering companies and setting up a safe environment for all metaverse users.
That last bit there is a key aspect that some sections of the metaverse economy think is ignored. Last month, a woman complained that she had been groped in the metaverse, raising questions about the risks associated with the virtual universe.
A group of technology firms joined together to form a non-profit group called Oasis Consortium, launching their own virtual world they believe to be a safer metaverse.
Therefore, it is understandable why Korea has adopted a plan that addresses both the opportunities and the challenges that those looking to get involved in the metaverse could face.
Although the government will be the public image for the project, the metaverse project will be led by the private sector, with the government providing a wide range of support measures to individual developers and companies.
The Korean government said it will prioritise using private metaverse platforms in the public sector instead of developing its own. The country will embrace metaverse technology in arts, culture, education, K-pop and tourism, while also launching a virtual Korean language institute for foreigners.
The plan also involves building a metaverse academy that will nurture young talent. The country said it will launch two graduate schools, backed by 5.5 billion won ($4.6M) each, spread over the next five years. There will also be metaverse competitions featuring hackathons, among other software programs.
Speaking during the announcement, Science and ICT Minister Lim Hye-sook said, “Metaverse is a digital new continent with infinite potential and anyone can achieve their dreams by playing as the main character. In particular, it will be a space of opportunity for young people to challenge more and grow bigger to leap into a wider world.”
Korea expects total metaverse-related sales of about 5 billion won ($4.2M) per year from 220 companies by 2026.
Previously, China’s capital Shanghai revealed a 5-year plan for the metaverse, while the Turkish capital Ankara teamed up with Open AR Cloud to become its fourth test city for the cloud and AI companies metaverse project.
The excitement of the metaverse is really up a gear this year with the likes of Microsoft gobbling $69 billion in an acquisition that places the computing software maker perfectly for the new immersive world.
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