The metaverse is in the midst of a real estate meltdown. Sales volumes and average prices for virtual land have plunged this year, part of a broader slide in crypto and non-fungible token prices.
Soaring interest in virtual property spawned an industry that mirrors traditional commercial real estate—buyers develop land by adding virtual storefronts, and then sell or rent it to companies looking to set up shop as a marketing strategy or to sell things like clothing for online avatars. Investors who bought at the peak are now sitting on land that has tumbled in value. Meanwhile the real-world economic downturn could weigh on brands’ appetite for spending on building out their metaverse presence.