Metaverse Gaming Guide – A Primer on Metaverse Game Development

 min read
19 February 2024
Paulina Kłuś
Paulina Kłuś
Digital Marketing Specialist
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  • Intro

The gaming industry grows by evolution. Things are constantly changing, with new genres and gaming experiences rolled out frequently. Metaverse gaming is the latest on the long list of gaming innovations poised to transform how players experience online games. The Metaverse in the gaming market is currently worth $22.7 billion. 

Experts project that this will reach $119.2 billion by 2028 with a cumulative annual growth rate of 39.3%. In this article, we’ll explore gaming in the metaverse, the technology that powers it, and the potential impact of this new technology on the gaming industry.

A quick recap:

  • The metaverse is a virtual universe powered by innovative technologies like virtual and augmented reality (AR and VR), IoT, and spatial computing.
  • Metaverse games are designed to take place in a persistent virtual world where players can interact with in-game elements and other gamers in an immersive way. 
  • Metaverse games are powered by cutting-edge technology like Blockchain, augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence, spatial computing, and advanced graphics.
  • In metaverse gaming, NFTs make it possible for digital assets owned by users within the game to have real value and uses beyond it. 
  • Creating a metaverse game is similar to the process of creating conventional games but with additional steps and new technologies for design and general game mechanics.
  • The future of metaverse gaming is intricately tied to advancement in various cutting-edge technologies including AR/VR, edge computing, AI, 5G, and blockchain technology.
Video Games Evolution infographic

What is Metaverse?

The metaverse is a virtual universe powered by technologies like virtual and augmented reality, IoT, and spatial computing. The term was coined in 1992 by Neal Stephenson in his science fiction novel titled Snow Crash

In the metaverse, replicas of real-world items exist in a virtual space and people can connect or interact with these items through replica versions of themselves. These replicas are known as avatars and can do the same things real human users can do but in a virtual world. 

The metaverse is an expansive digital world offering different experiences to users. Some of these experiences include virtual marketplaces where users can run virtual businesses, virtual workplaces, immersive digital concerts, digital land where users can cultivate virtual farming plots, virtual homes, and of course, interactive video games where users get to play as avatars in enhanced immersive environments. 

While the term “metaverse” has been used loosely for years, it was popularized in 2021 when Facebook rebranded to Meta and invested billions in developing the concept.

Today, many more companies have invested in creating online platforms that form pieces of this parallel digital world. The metaverse world mirrors the physical world closely and offers opportunities for e-commerce, entertainment, and gaming among other things.

What is Metaverse Gaming and How is It Changing the Game Industry?

The metaverse is characterized by different types of user engagement platforms with unique structures and purposes. One such emerging application of this technology is metaverse gaming.

The term refers to games designed to take place in a persistent virtual world where players can interact with in-game elements and other users like they would in real life. This provides an enhanced and immersive experience in a hyper-realistic environment. 

Metaverse gaming is transforming how users play and experience games, promoting a shift from standalone video or mobile games to gaming in interconnected virtual universes.  

The main allure of games in this niche is the immersive experience they offer to players. In metaverse games, the lines between real and virtual worlds are blurred, with technologies like virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) transporting players to virtual worlds for a visually stunning and deeply immersive experience.

Unlike conventional games with fixed starting and ending worlds, the gaming environment in metaverse games is online 24/7 and constantly evolving. Metaverse games are also quite flexible with many opportunities for customization.

Metaverse vs. traditional gaming

Users can create block-like customizable avatars, and in-game assets and modify the virtual environment for an improved, personalized experience. They can also own gaming elements in the form of Non-fungible tokens that can be traded in the real world for revenue. 

In addition to tradable tokens, many metaverse games also feature play-to-earn mechanics that reward players for completing in-game quests, completing game levels, or winning battles against other game players. 

Metaverse gaming has also added an interactive/social element to the gaming industry. Social interaction is an important element in these games as they allow players to connect with others all over the world. Through their avatars, players can compete, form teams, collaborate, or have other forms of interactions within the digital world. 

Technologies Behind the Development of Gaming Metaverse

Metaverse gaming represents the next generation of conventional games. Beyond gaming consoles, smartphones, and PCs, advancements in metaverse gaming are powered by cutting-edge technology like Blockchain, augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence, spatial computing, and advanced graphics.

More about these technologies and the roles they play in the development of gaming in the metaverse are highlighted below. 

AR and VR Technologies

Metaverse gaming takes place in digital worlds designed to mirror the real world. Players get to interact with elements within this world and that contributes to the immersive experiences that these platforms offer. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are two technologies that make this possible.  

Virtual Reality (VR technology) refers to the use of 3D modeling technology (one of the most advanced forms of graphics design) to create highly immersive virtual environments. Metaverse developers use Augmented Reality to extend these environments and develop games that allow users to interact with elements through physical simulations.

In games like Pokemon Go, for instance, players can catch game characters and virtual items based on their actual physical location on a map. This shows how the combination of these two technologies allows users to experience the physical and virtual world at the same time, which is one of the most important elements of gaming in the metaverse. 

Blockchain and Metaverse Cryptocurrency

The Internet in its current form operates on websites and applications controlled by centralized entities. Blockchain is a technology that is built on a decentralized ledger system, a sort of user-owned internet free from the limitations of centralized data storage. 

Non-fungible tokens (authentic digital assets) and cryptocurrencies powered by blockchain will allow metaverse users to create, own, and monetize in-game assets conveniently. The use of blockchain ensures that players have complete ownership and can trade virtual assets freely within the metaverse for real money. 

Blockchain technology also makes the “play-to-earn” gaming model (which is common with metaverse games) possible. With this model, players earn real financial rewards (in the form of cryptocurrencies) by playing the game. The tokens they earn can be used within the game or sold in the cryptocurrency market for profit. 

Internet of Things (IoT)

Although metaverse games are still built on software infrastructure, users interact with these virtual environments via physical devices and hardware. IoT is a technology concerned with the interconnectivity between components of the physical environment and the Internet. IoT devices are connected and can exchange data with each other and with the cloud. 

In metaverse gaming, IoT facilitates the integration of the 3D world and physical devices. IoT devices can also collect data from the real world so they can be replicated accurately in the realistic virtual world of multiverse games. For instance, IoT devices can collect data about the weather, and adjust the metaverse environment so it mirrors the current weather condition accurately. 

3D Reconstruction

As the name suggests, 3D reconstruction involves replicating objects or items in the real world in virtual environments. Given that metaverse games are meant to take place in a hyper-realistic environment that mirrors the real world as closely as possible, it makes sense that 3D construction is one of the key technologies that helps to bring metaverse games to life. To achieve this, special 3D cameras are used to capture real-world scenes while reconstruction software is used to render them in a virtual gaming world. 

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence involves creating algorithms that allow machines to mimic human intelligence in executing tasks and making decisions. AI is one of the key technologies developers use to make the metaverse more immersive for users.

Various aspects of metaverse gaming such as avatar creation and world generation are made possible by advanced AI algorithms. AI-powered VR devices also help improve human interactions with virtual worlds by measuring human bioelectrical and muscular patterns to replicate them in gaming environments in a life-like manner. 

NFTs in the Metaverse

NFT stands for non-fungible token. It’s a term in cryptocurrency used to describe unique digital assets stored on the blockchain. An NFT is represented by a unique certificate that serves as a proof of ownership and authenticity. Any digital asset can be represented as an NFT. 

In traditional games, players own gaming assets such as skins, special avatars, weapons, and vehicles. These assets only exist within these games and do not have any real-world value. In metaverse gaming, NFTs make it possible for digital assets to be more than mere objects in the game. 

Players who play these games can purchase or earn NFTs while they play and retain ownership of these assets beyond the game. NFTs can be used across various crypto-based applications or sold for real cash on crypto marketplaces.

Technologies behind Metaverse Games

Types of Metaverse in Virtual Gaming

The adoption of metaverse in virtual gaming has opened up various game niches and new entertainment opportunities for players. Some of the possible gaming experiences players get to explore with the metaverse are highlighted below: 

Play-to-Earn (P2E)

Beyond the entertainment and thrilling experience of gaming, playing games in the metaverse is also an opportunity for players to earn money. The Sandbox, Cryptkitties, and Axie Infinity are among the most popular play-to-earn metaverse games in the market. While playing these games, players can earn actual cryptocurrencies or get NFTs as game assets as they level up or by completing in-game tasks.

Social Gaming

Metaverse gaming allows players to interact with the physical world while playing. Most games also have social elements that enhance connection with other players.

While a few conventional games allow users to engage with a small number of opponents over the internet, metaverse gaming takes social gaming to a whole new level with vast opportunities for social engagement. 

Instead of a few friends, players can connect with gamers from all over the world on multiplayer games in the metaverse. With metaverse games like Roblox for instance, players can create and play their games or play games created by other users. This allows them to socialize while building their virtual worlds.

Another great example is the Fortnite metaverse designed to provide players with a multiplayer gaming experience where they can interact with each other in real-time battle royale style. In addition to joining forces with other players in battles, players can also participate in crossover events, dance battles, attend virtual concerts, and other social experiences. 

Portable Game Assets

Metaverse gaming has an extensible design that allows a smooth transition between the real world and virtual universes. The use of blockchain is another factor that contributes to asset portability in metaverse gaming. Game assets, avatar upgrades, and cryptocurrency obtained in one game can be transferred to other games.

Just imagine buying a cool sword in one metaverse game and using it to fight in another, or using a personalized game avatar across two virtual environments. That’s what portability and interoperability do in metaverse gaming.

Mixed Reality Experience

Beyond transporting players into a virtual gaming world through VR devices, metaverse gaming can also leverage mixed reality technology to merge physical and virtual worlds into an immersive experience.

The idea of Mixed realities is to integrate virtual elements into the real world in ways that allow players to interact or even manipulate virtual objects within their physical space.

Pokémon Go is one of the best examples of metaverse games that have successfully overlaid the gaming action onto real-world locations by encouraging players to explore their surroundings while engaging with objects within the game.

Benefits of Metaverse Gaming – Why is It So Popular?

Immersive Gameplay

Metaverse gaming promises a level of immersion that’s beyond what players get with conventional games. Users get to experience the game in an amazing virtual gaming world that feels real and tangible, which is better than what you get with traditional 2D or 3D games. 

Interconnected Universes

Most conventional games are standalone on your device. Even games that allow you to connect with other players over the internet are still limited in some ways. The gaming metaverse is part of a broader virtual world where interoperability is prioritized. This makes it possible to explore and interact with players across various gaming landscapes. 


The decentralized nature of the gaming metaverse gives players full control over the game and its elements. In many metaverse games, players get to design their own virtual spaces, buy or import gaming assets from other platforms, and get personalized avatars to enhance their gaming experience. 

Earning Opportunities

Very few conventional games offer players the opportunity to earn real money as they play. This is one of the most attractive qualities of metaverse games. Since most metaverse games incorporate blockchain technology in their design, players get to earn cryptocurrencies as they play and complete missions. Some games also allow players to own virtual assets (NFTs) which they can trade with other players or export out of the game. 

Challenges of Metaverse Gaming


Interoperability is one of the positives of metaverse gaming. However, it is also one of the most challenging things to achieve for metaverse game developers. Most metaverse games are built with advanced technologies like blockchain, AR, and VR. The protocols behind these technologies vary for different gaming platforms. This can make it difficult to create a cohesive experience across multiple metaverse gaming platforms.

Protecting IP Rights 

In the gaming metaverse, game characters and assets are expected to interact with other games or metaverse experiences. While this is one of the upsides of metaverse gaming, it also poses a challenge in terms of ownership and intellectual property rights. The game companies who have invested significant resources in creating these characters still own a right to them and they’ll have to put measures in place to prevent potential infringement issues. 

Data Security 

To craft the unique experiences that make them so immersive, metaverse games have to collect loads of data. Managing and protecting this data is one of the biggest challenges metaverse game providers have to overcome. Gamers want to be certain that their data will not be used illegally or exposed to malicious actors. Consequently, metaverse gaming companies have to adhere to strict privacy standards and put robust security measures in place to protect user data. 

Incorporating Blockchain and NFTs 

Despite its popularity, blockchain is still a relatively new technology. As such, incorporating NFTs into games and blockchain game development is still a significant challenge for game providers. Most providers also find it difficult to find a practical economic model to monetize and profit from NFT-based games. 

Top Metaverse Games

The metaverse gaming niche now features lots of exciting games offering innovative experiences to players beyond traditional gaming. Here are some of the top decentralized metaverse projects in the industry: 

Axie Infinity

Axie Infinity is a Pokeman-inspired game from Sky Mavis. The game which was launched in 2018 allows games to collect, trade or raise in-game avatars known as Axies. The fictitious creatures have different qualities depending on their makeup. Players can pitch their Axies against each other or go on bounty hunts with their avatars for rewards. In addition to the Axies, players can also acquire other in-game assets such as land and houses which are tradable as well. 


Splinterlands is a collectible card game by a producer of the same name. This metaverse game was built on the Hive blockchain. It immerses players into a fantasy world where they battle to build decks of digital cards. These decks represent monsters and summoners from different factions. Players can battle against each other or face off against AI opponents to earn rewards in the form of cards, potions, and Dark Energy Crystals (the game’s cryptocurrency) which they can trade on the game’s marketplace. 


Fortnite is arguably the most played metaverse game with millions of monthly players from all over the world. The game which was produced by Epic Gaming Inc. was not originally intended to be a metaverse game. It was first released in 2017 as a cooperative sandbox survival game. However, the game’s battle royale mode turned out to be the most popular. In Fortnite, players get to build their own worlds, create new game types, and host virtual events while enjoying an immersive and competitive gaming experience. 

Alien Worlds 

Alien Worlds is an adventure game from Blockchain Games Alliance. The game was launched on the WAX blockchain in 2020. In the game, players set out as intergalactic adventurers looking to mine Trilium (the in-game commodity). The game is set in a fictional universe with six worlds, each one with 500 tradable land plots. The plots and other in-game assets are NFT-based. 

Top Companies Working on Metaverse Gaming

Companies like Epic Games, Decentraland, Roblox, and Sandbox are at the forefront of metaverse gaming. Here’s a quick overview of each of the top game providers that create games and contribute to the growth of the industry: 


Decentraland was one of the first companies to build a fully functional metaverse gaming experience. The company pioneered blockchain-based land ownership, allowing players to own virtual land as NFT, create their own gaming experiences, and trade game assets in a decentralized virtual marketplace. 


Sandbox is the game maker behind The Sandbox platform, a metaverse gaming experience that allows users to create and manage virtual spaces. Sandbox combines user-generated content, world-creating capabilities, and NFT asset ownership, allowing players to build and monetize their creations within the metaverse

Epic Games

Epics Games is best known for Fortnite the battle royale and world-building game that has managed to capture the attention of millions of players. Epic Games is also the company behind Unreal engines. The company’s success at integrating social experiences such as concerts and events within its games has further boosted the adoption of the metaverse experience and showcases one of the potential future applications of the metaverse inspiration. 


Roblox created the Roblox metaverse platform, a gaming platform that allows games to create and play games in the metaverse. The company’s focus on user-generated gaming content and social gaming has contributed to its massive popularity. Some of the most popular games built on the platform include Adopt Me! and Brookhaven RP both of which have attracted millions of players.

How To Create a Metaverse Game?

Metaverse game development process

Most metaverse games are blockchain based which means the first step in creating a game is to choose a suitable blockchain ecosystem on which your game will be built. The characteristics of your game will depend on your choice of blockchain ecosystem. Next, you prepare your storyboard which includes the storyline of the game, characters levels, and general gameplay mechanics. 

With the storyboard ready, you can proceed to the next phase of the game which is building the visuals of the game which includes building the game environment, characters, and game assets. The final stage of building is to implement the game mechanics, animate the characters, and add sounds. You’ll also have to integrate the game as necessary and test extensively before rolling out the game release.   

Future of Metaverse Gaming

The metaverse technology is still in its early phase. It’s hard to tell how much impact it’ll have on the gaming industry and the global economy at large. However, the trend is gearing up to be one of the biggest applications of the metaverse. 

Currently, nearly 200 million people participate actively in online gaming. While the majority of internet-based are not connected to the metaverse, the future will likely see a growing adoption of this technology. As more game developers see the potential benefits of metaverse gaming, we might see many conventional games being transformed into metaverse games. 

However, the future metaverse in gaming is intricately tied to advancement in various cutting-edge technologies including AR/VR, edge computing, AI, 5G, and blockchain technology. The pace of development in this gaming industry will depend on how fast the technology powering the metaverse grows in the coming decades. 

How Can CrustLab Help You with Metaverse Game Development?

There’s no doubt that the merger of conventional gaming and the metaverse will open up a new era in the gaming industry that benefits both players and developers. Metaverse gaming promises an immersive gaming experience with the potential of earning real money from NFT game assets. 

CrustLab offers comprehensive software development services, covering product design, delivery, and launch. Got a metaverse game idea? We’ll handle the core gameplay mechanics, backend infrastructure, and user interfaces of your metaverse game to bring your idea to life just how you envisioned it. Contact us to learn more about our services. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Metaverse Gaming

  • What is the metaverse in the gaming industry?

    The metaverse in gaming refers to a subgenre of games characterized by persistent virtual worlds offering an immersive gaming experience to players. The metaverse merges the world world with a digital universe, allowing players to interact with in-game elements while socializing with others, creating and even owning virtual assets.

  • Is Virtual Reality a part of metaverse gaming?

    While Virtual Reality gaming isn’t the only component of metaverse gaming, it is one of the key components that enhances the gaming experience for players. VR headsets transport players into the virtual world, so they can interact with the gaming environment directly. However, beyond VR devices, metaverse experiences can also be accessed through traditional screens and mobile devices.

  • Can you play games in the metaverse?

    Yes! While the metaverse does have a lot of other applications, games are a major component of what the metaverse offers.

  • What are the examples of games in the metaverse?

    Metaverse games encompass various genres and styles. You’ll find immersive adventures like Alien World, competitive battle royales like Fortnite and collaborative gaming experiences like Sandbox. Many of these games also offer other virtual spaces and experiences you can explore for your entertainment.