Decentraland, a 3D virtual world browser-based platform, recently wrapped up its Metaverse Fashion Week (MFW), with attendance falling 76 percent from 108,000 in 2022 to only 26,000 this year.
The 2023 MFW ran from March 28 to March 31, featuring top brands like Dolce & Gabbana, Tommy Hilfiger, Adidas and DKNY. However, despite these brands’ presence, the event struggled to attract a large audience. A Decentraland spokesperson said barely 1,000 people signed in at once.
Despite the dip in attendance numbers, MFW chief Giovanna Casimiro said the event saw tens of thousands of new visitors.
“For the second ever Metaverse Fashion Week, we believe that we improved upon the experience from last year,” Casimiro said.
MFW debuted in 2022. The event hosted a series of fashion shows, afterparties and pop-up shops, where fashion designers and brands could showcase their latest collections in the form of 3D models.
The event was easily accessible, as users could simply log into the browser-based platform. Users could view and interact with the products in real-time, even purchasing virtual clothing and accessories using cryptocurrency. Some items were also available for purchase physically.
Aside from MFW, Decentraland hosted the annual Metaverse Music Festival. Last year, over 100 artists signed up to perform on the platform, including Ozzy Osbourne, Soulja Boy, Jerry Garcia, the virtual group Skullz, Chinese idol groups and crypto-punk rappers.
Decentraland struggling to keep up with market
Decentraland, alongside other blockchain-powered games and platforms like The Sandbox, Alien Worlds and even Axie Infinity, is still struggling with the “crypto winter.”
Its native token, MANA, is dropping from a market cap of $6.8 billion to $1.1 billion. During the bull run, MANA surged to nearly $5, but it is currently trading at around $0.60.
The platform struggles to attract and retain active users, mainly due to the declining popularity of NFT exchange and trading. Hunter Swihart, a Metaverse architect who built digital spaces for Decentraland, expressed disappointment with the number of visitors the platform has been seeing. He expected it to be more popular based on “how much people were talking about it.”
Another issue is that the total number of unique landowners on the platform only makes up eight percent of the 98,000 LAND NFTs, a much lower percentage than most NFT projects with a minimum of 30 percent unique holders. There is speculation that a small group of people, including Decentraland itself, might be hoarding the land, as the company owns around 67,000 plots.
In October last year, a report claimed that Decentraland had only 38 daily active users. The company has debunked this report, saying the number only accounts for those interacting with its smart contracts — for example, buying LAND NFTs on the platform.
According to The Block research analyst Brad Kay, the number of people buying and selling LAND NFTs on the platform has decreased, with only 20-30 individuals engaging in the transactions each week. Its weekly trading volumes for a virtual land have also plummeted, dropping from $1 million in late 2021 and early 2022 to only $50,000 today.
Furthermore, Decentraland’s official daily total of unique visitors currently sits at 7.1k, much lower compared to other non-Web3 games and virtual worlds like Roblox and Fortnite, which boast millions of active users and visitors.