Spanish small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) specialized in the metaverse will invoice 35 million euros in 2023, which represents an increase of almost 35% compared to the previous year, according to data from the Spanish Association for Digitalization (DigitalES). ) .
The employers’ association concludes in a study on the metaverse that the turnover of the Spanish SME sector dedicated to this field grew by 27% in 2022, up to 26 million euros, while the number of projects developed by companies increased from 1 8 million in 2021 to 24 million in the following year. According to the report, which analyzes 43 Spanish companies, there is a clear interest in the country in the development of the metaverse and companies are dedicating innovative and economic efforts around it.
In this sense, the general director of the Accenture Media Industry and coordinator of the study’s working group, Álvaro Manzano, has indicated in statements to EFE that Spain is one of the countries with the “greatest maturity” in the development of new experiences metaverse, since 70% of large companies have their own department dedicated to this technology and extended reality (XR).
Within the sample collected by the study, the XR company standard is an SME made up of between 10 and 15 employees, whose main activities are the development of digital worlds for customers and virtual reality (VR) experiences. On the other hand, large companies usually have departments of around 25 employees and focus on consulting, digital identity (creation of avatars, privacy and personal portfolio management) and XR training.
In both types of company, the most common profiles are programmer, Unity video game engine developer, 3D artist, user interface designer and augmented reality developer. In terms of geographical distribution, most of the companies analyzed are based in Madrid (22) or Barcelona (9), although this ecosystem is distributed throughout the national territory, also highlighting the concentration in Valencia (4) and Zaragoza (3 ).
Projects ‘made in Spain’
The XR industry in Spain, the report points out, focuses mainly on sales to other companies (B2B) and operates mainly at the national level, although in large companies the sales model to consumers (B2C) is growing slightly. Although a few years ago sales were concentrated in video games and the audiovisual world, the sectors for which most work is currently done are tourism and heritage, banking and insurance, and sports and culture.
Particularly in large companies, Manzano pointed out, the projects developed for the industry and health sector stand out. The objectives that these public projects usually seek is to attract new people, training, presentation of new products, holding events and creating new channels of interaction and communication. Although most of the sector operates mainly at the national level, in terms of exports, the “Spain brand” projects travel mainly to the United States, France, Portugal, Belgium and the Netherlands. In addition, 10.7% of the companies in the study export their products to Latin America.
an ethical future
Looking to the future, the coordinator of the working group has indicated that sustainability “is an aspect that must be embedded in any new project that is developed in the metaverse.” He has added that the rest of the points that are part of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development must be addressed, such as identity, diversity, inclusion and security. “In this way, aspects such as the energy consumption derived from the intensive use of AI and the chain of blocks (blockchain) can be cushioned through an optimal design of the experience”, he has affirmed.
Another challenge facing the sector is gender parity, since currently only 20% of professionals in immersive technologies are women, a trend “dragging” from the video game sector. However, Manzano has pointed out that in Spain the x-ray “can become different”, with women at the head of new divisions of large companies such as Telefónica, Microsoft or Meta.