The number of metaverse users across major virtual world platforms in South Korea has dropped sharply since social distancing measures were lifted, a report showed Sunday.
According to big data analysis firm Mobile Index, the number of Roblox’s weekly active users (WAU) recorded 773,678 during the period between May 9 and 15, an almost 18 percent drop from the previous weekly figure. It was the lowest number recorded since the last week of June 2021.
During the same period, the amount of time spent on Roblox reached 150 minutes per user, the lowest since the final week of October 2021. It showed a steep decline of approximately 46 percent compared to the 276 minutes that Roblox users spent on average for a week between February 14 and 20 of this year.
South Korea’s leading metaverse platforms -- Naver’s Zepeto and SK Telecom’s ifland -- also showed similar decreases during the period, according to the report.
Zepeto’s number of WAUs totaled 133,708, the lowest since the first week of July 2021, while the total amount of time spent on the app by all users totaled 190,961 hours, falling below the 200,000-hour mark for first time in 10 months.
The report showed that ifland logged 105,292 WAUs between May 9 and 15, setting a new low.
Wi Jong-hyun, a business professor at Chung-Ang University, wrote in a Facebook post that the popularity of the metaverse in South Korea stemmed from the restrictions on outdoor activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Wi, the phenomenon of “metaverse fatigue” has been spreading while companies and people get tired of chasing abstract and intangible mirages.
The Korean government lifted most of its social distancing measures, including curfews on restaurants and cafes and number limits on private gatherings, on April 18.
By Kan Hyeong-woo (email@example.com)