The metaverse is no longer science fiction. Early metaverse platforms are already being used by millions. In Asia, many consumers are already gaming, socializing, attending concerts and, purchasing items on virtual platforms such as Roblox, Decentraland, Fortnite, and Asia’s very own Sandbox and Zepeto. Industries and businesses are also experimenting with metaverse technologies. Several governments in the region, including China, South Korea, and Japan, have featured the metaverse in their economic plans.

The emergence of the metaverse is driven by two gravities – technological and demographic. These two gravities are particularly pronounced in Asia, making the region an interesting one to watch. South Korea and China are leading the world in 5G deployment. The region exports over three-quarters of cell phones and integrated circuits to the world. Over 60% of the world’s youth aged 15 to 24 live here, along with 1.3 billion mobile gamers – the biggest mobile player base worldwide.

We estimate that the impact of the metaverse to GDP in Asia could be between US$0.8 trillion - US$1.4 trillion per year by 2035, roughly 1.3-2.4% of overall GDP per year by 2035. However, how much is realized and how quickly, depend on unique strategies the underlying economies may take to accelerate economic benefits of the metaverse.

Deloitte Center for the Edge's latest report delves into the metaverse developments in the 12 selected Asian economies, and the potential strategies they may adopt to realize the full economic potential of the metaverse. We found a vibrant hive of metaverse activities across many sectors including agriculture, automotive, manufacturing, built environment and urban planning, retail and commerce, tourism, financial services, healthcare, education, government, gaming and entertainment.

Embracing the metaverse could unlock a trillion-dollar opportunity in Asia. Developing the technology stacks, human capital and regulatory frameworks required will benefit a wide range of industries and economic activities.