South Korea's metaverse industry is expected to experience significant growth in the coming years, with an annual growth rate of 43% expected to increase the market value to $5.54 billion by 2023.
In the longer term, from 2023 to 2030, the industry is expected to register a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 34.2% to reach $43.36 billion by 2030, according to a report published by ResearchAndMarkets.com.
Significant investments by government agencies and private companies in developing innovative metaverse projects are driving this expected growth.
Moreover, as interest in the sector grows, the South Korean government has hinted at a forthcoming regulatory framework for the metaverse industry.
The government's commitment to the metaverse and emerging technologies is evident. For example, in 2022, South Korea announced an investment of $177.1 million in the metaverse as part of the Digital New Deal.
In addition, the Ministry of Science and ICT plans to support metaverse companies. Several cities, including Seoul and Changwon, have also announced plans to expand their presence in the metaverse.
Retail companies also use the metaverse to provide innovative experiences for their customers.
For example, Korea Seven, the operator of the global convenience store chain 7-Eleven in South Korea, launched a metaverse platform to host music festivals and events in collaboration with telecom giant SK Telecom.
On another front, concerns about the safety of users in the metaverse have led to initiatives targeting sexual abuse and exploitation in the virtual world.
In November 2022, for example, Zepeto, a metaverse platform launched by South Korean tech giant Never, partnered with INHOPE, a global network to combat online child abuse.
The partnership aims to improve monitoring technology and develop a reporting hotline to protect young users from sexual abuse and exploitation.