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Meta revamps Horizon Worlds metaverse with in-house game studio amid struggles

TL;DR

  • Meta introduces in-house VR game studio, Ouro Interactive, to boost Horizon Worlds.
  • Horizon Worlds plans to expand to app stores, targeting mobile gamers.
  • Despite Q2 2023 losses, Meta continues investing in Reality Labs for product development.

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, is taking significant steps to rejuvenate its Horizon Worlds metaverse platform. The company has established an in-house VR game studio, Ouro Interactive, to develop first-party titles and enhance the platform’s appeal. This move comes as Horizon Worlds grapples with a reported $3.7 billion loss in Q2 2023 and a perceived decline in consumer interest in the metaverse.

Meta’s new approach to boost Horizon Worlds

Ouro Interactive’s first release, a game titled “Super Rumble,” is expected to showcase the studio’s ability to leverage new technological advancements to create visually complex, interactive, and engaging gameplay. The game is part of Meta’s broader strategy to revitalize Horizon Worlds and recoup significant losses. The company aims to attract the estimated billions of mobile gamers worldwide by making Horizon Worlds available in app stores. However, the timeline for this expansion remains unclear.

Meta’s Vice President of Metaverse, Vishal Shah, stated that the mobile version of Horizon Worlds is intended to serve as a bridge for those who do not own a VR headset. This shift signifies a move from being “VR only” to “VR first.” The company is also investing in generative AI tools to simplify the process of building within its world, even for users without professional 3D rendering skills.

Challenges and future plans for Horizon Worlds

Despite the significant operating loss in Q2 2023, Meta remains committed to its Reality Labs department, the unit behind its Quest VR headsets and Horizon Worlds platform. The company expects Reality Labs’ operating losses to increase year-over-year in 2023 due to ongoing product development.

The revamp of Horizon Worlds comes at a time when other companies are scaling back their metaverse projects. For instance, Disney reportedly laid off its metaverse team and shuttered its virtual world-building efforts in March. Despite these challenges, Meta’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg affirmed the company’s commitment to AI and the metaverse, calling them “major priorities” that are now “overlapping and complementary.”
The Horizon Worlds overhaul represents Meta’s attempt to create a Roblox-like digital playground to attract users who wish to play games and interact with others in a 3D social network. However, the service has reportedly attracted less than 200,000 monthly active users, highlighting the public’s current general lack of enthusiasm for VR. Despite this, Meta is hopeful that its new approach will help boost engagement and user numbers.

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Damilola Lawrence

Damilola is a crypto enthusiast, content writer, and journalist. When he is not writing, he spends most of his time reading and keeping tabs on exciting projects in the blockchain space. He also studies the ramifications of Web3 and blockchain development to have a stake in the future economy.

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