The idea of the metaverse, a virtual world that combines elements of augmented reality, virtual reality, and social media, has hit a rough patch in recent months. The loudest proponent of the idea, Meta, as well as metaverse players such as Microsoft, Apple and Chinese tech giants Tencent and ByteDance have all either lowered investment or laid off hundreds directly involved in VR/metaverse.
Creating a metaverse is a cost-heavy project, involving hardware development, computing and networking infrastructure and while the hype was through the roof through 2022, it seems the new year has brought new expectations in the face of the challenges confronting the tech sector.
Zvika Krieger, a former director at Meta told Politico: “The metaverse is a long-term play. Unless you have a lot of money to burn, like Meta, you’re not going to stick with it during a market downturn. When things are flush everyone likes shiny new ideas, but when you have to prioritize it’s going to be the first thing on the chopping block.”
Despite that, metaverse remains a priority, one with the volume turned down. The XR Association, a group of “headset manufacturers, technology platforms, component and peripheral companies” (including Meta and Microsoft) has published a positive “State of the Industry Report” touting its growing membership and influence, and for tech giants like Meta, it’s about riding out the current downturn, and not getting out of the water.
For more, check out this piece on Politico.