While companies like Meta and HTC Vive are investing in their metaverse vision, governments are notoriously slow when it comes to technological changes. Unless you’re South Korea, of course, which has announced plans to invest 223.7 billion Korean won ($186.7 million USD) in a national metaverse project aimed at stimulating growth for businesses.
The investment was pledged by South Korea’s Ministry of ICT, Science, and Future Planning, to be spent accomplishing four main goals across an ecosystem dubbed the “Expanded Virtual World”. Aiming to support both digital content as well as corporate growth, this metaverse plan will be somewhat different to others as it’ll also look to expand real-life cities onto the platform. It will also be used for education and to help nurture youth experts.
Part of the investment will be used to attract content creators to help build it. The ministry will be hosting community-oriented activities such as a metaverse developer contest and hackathons. Furthermore, the government will also look at creating regulatory systems and laws that would be favourable to the metaverse.
“The Ministry of Science and ICT through the ‘Expanded Virtual World New Industry Leading Strategy’ aims to create a sustainable and expanded virtual world ecosystem based on public-private partnerships. Focus also on inter-company collaboration, technology development, and regulatory innovation so that domestic companies can compete with global companies,” the South Korean ministry said in a statement.
This isn’t the first time South Korea has looked to decisively position itself within the metaverse. Last year South Korea’s capital Seoul announced the ‘Metaverse Seoul’ project that would be created by 2026 thanks to a $33 million investment.
Similarly, the country’s $200bn sovereign wealth fund, Korea Investment Corp (KIC), revealed its increasing investment in Silicon Valley startups with a particular focus on metaverse ventures.
As South Korea continues to push into the metaverse, gmw3 will keep you updated.