SEOUL, May 23 (Korea Bizwire) — The number of metaverse platform users has plunged after the easing of COVID-19 social distancing measures, putting the brake on the metaverse fever in South Korea, data showed Sunday.
The number of weekly active users (WAU) for the metaverse application Roblox over the past week (May 9 to 15) stood at 773,678, down 17.8 percent from the previous week, according to data by local market analysis firm IGA Works.
The figure marked a 10-month low since the last week of June 2021.
Last week’s per-capita usage hours averaged 150.32 minutes, the lowest in six months since the week of October 25 to 31 last year.
Last week’s WAU for mobile-based metaverse platform Zepeto also declined to 133,708, the lowest since the first week of July 2021. The total weekly usage hours stood at 190,961 hours, sliding below the 200,000 hour level for the first time in 10 months.
SK Telecom Co.’s virtual meeting platform ifland saw its WAU reach 105,292 last week, setting a new record low again since the week of April 18 to 24 last month.
Its total weekly usage hours stood at 14,610, less than a half of the figure marked in the second week of January.
The recent plunge in the number of metaverse app users is attributable to the decline in non-face-to-face activities resulting from the continued declining trend in the number of coronavirus patients.
“But the metaverse ecosystem would continue to expand as the number of young people using the metaverse continues on an upward trend,” said Choi Jae-boong, a professor of mechanical engineering at Sungkyunkwan University.
J. S. Shin (firstname.lastname@example.org)