Digital giant Meta has embarked on a mission to revitalize the beleaguered Horizon Worlds platform. The company does this by rolling out a newly formed in-house VR game studio, which it hopes will offset significant losses and rekindle waning consumer interest in the sprawling metaverse.
Harness the power of technology for an advanced gaming experience
In a revealing discourse in the tech-focused newsletter Lowpass, Meta Vice President of Metaverse Vishal Shah laid out the company’s strategic strategy. Meta churns out unique first-party titles through its innovative in-house studio, Ouro Interactive. The effort was highlighted by a newsletter correspondent who was able to test one of his upcoming games, “Super Rumble.” They experienced enhanced visuals and immersive gameplay made possible by cutting-edge technology.
the shah said low pass“We have greatly enhanced the possibilities of what we can design with Horizon in terms of visual sophistication, interactivity and engaging gameplay.” It summarizes our focused efforts.
Meta’s tactical roadmap also includes a focus on the vast number of mobile gamers around the world. Shah suggested introducing Horizon Worlds into the app marketplace to make the platform more inclusive. The schedule for that is yet to be determined, but it’s clear that cross-platform play integration is planned.
Broaden your horizons: From VR-only to VR-centric
The proposed mobile version is envisioned as a gateway for those who don’t own a VR headset, pushing the platform from VR-only to VR-first. Last year, Horizon Worlds devoted resources to facilitating more complex games and allowing developers to use third-party tools to import assets.
Additionally, Horizon Worlds has started investing in generative AI tools to simplify the user experience, allowing users to create within those worlds without prior knowledge of professional 3D rendering tools. Mr. Shah confirmed to Mr. Lopass: “This is more than just a new world. This is the next generation of Horizon Worlds.”
Interactions between AI and the Metaverse: A Key Strategic Focus
CEO Mark Zuckerberg echoed a similar sentiment during a recent earnings call, calling AI and the metaverse “major priorities.” He noted the overlapping and complementary nature of these two aspects.
As for Horizon, they expressed satisfaction with their progress in user retention. He also highlighted significant upgrades to avatars, saying they were envisioned as a connecting link between Meta’s mobile apps and VR and mixed reality experiences.
Despite these advances, Meta reported a massive $3.7 billion operating loss in the second quarter of 2023 for its Reality Lab division. This unit will be responsible for the Quest VR headset and the Horizon Worlds platform. The company expects these losses to increase year-over-year in 2023 due to continued product development.
A resolute stance in the face of industry setbacks
Meta’s new commitment to the Metaverse project has surfaced as peers such as Disney are reportedly pulling out of similar businesses. Despite operational setbacks, this apparent effort highlights the potential Meta sees in the Metaverse.
Only time will tell if these bold moves can reignite interest in Horizon Worlds and shape the future of virtual realms.
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