Meta wants a billion people in the metaverse by the second half of the 2020s
The Immersive Wire - 6 February 2023 (Monday Briefing)
Welcome to your weekly briefing on the metaverse. Here are your snippets to sound smarter in meetings this week:
- Headline: Meta lost $13.7bn on Reality Labs in 2022, and hopes a billion people will be in the metaverse by the second half of the decade (analysis below)
- Stat of the week: 2.13% of Steam players use VR headsets, 44.26% of whom use the Quest 2 (analysis below)
- Conversation-starter: Meta is shutting down Crayta in March, while Echo VR will shut down in August.
- Other stories: Web3 Creator Summit will happen on 7 June, Straylight is out, and Immerse UK unveiled some new awards (more below)
- Community insights: Opinions are split even on whether Among Us VR could have performed better, with a smidge (56%) saying no.
What do you think of Meta's large investments into Reality Labs?
I had a hefty cold which wiped me last week. In bed, I am playing through Hi-Fi Rush on my Steam Deck - and I absolutely love it. Great example of good gameplay design that complements a dumb but fun story.
Meta lost $13.7bn on Reality Labs in 2022, with big ambitions.
- Revenue dropped too, from $2.27bn in 2021 to $2.16bn in 2022. The reduction was likely led by a price hike with Quest 2 units.
- Still, Zuckerberg has high ambitions. The CEO told CNBC that he wants 'a billion people in the metaverse doing hundreds of dollars of commerce' by that time. Is the goal feasible? It depends on how Meta tallies up the numbers, or the acquisition rate of key hardware platforms like the Quest line and the upcoming AR glasses.
- What is the long-term viability of Meta? It makes sense that Meta is investing in its vision of the future, financed by its ads business. The real question is the pace of innovation and consumer pick-up. How many dollar bills does it take to build a new kind of spatial computing? A lot, it turns out.
Steam unveiled its January 2023 stats, and the popularity of VR on its platform.
- A few caveats to the data. The main one is that the Steam stats page does not list the total number of players on the platform. The closest approximation we have is a stat from 2021. Mixed News used that stat to say that ~3m people used VR on steam - though the number would surely be higher today.
- Quest 2 and the Pico line saw a spike in usage. The Christmas bump is real, and the companies that benefitted the most were Meta and Pico.
- Steam should supply better data. The stats page is a great repository for wider titles, and it's great that it shows VR hardware information as well. But more granular detail on the types of VR software that are doing well too, broken down by volume, would arm companies with better information on the market.
Other notable stories
Got any stories? Let me know at tom (at) immersivewire (dot) com.
- Falmouth University is hosting a metaverse conference on 23 February.
- Disclaimer: I am a keynote speaker at the event.
- FARFETCH and Outlier Ventures opened applications for Dream Assembly Base Camp Cohort Two.
- Habytat, a photorealistic metaverse releasing early spring, announced that it’s offering 200 artists complementary spaces.
- Immerse UK launched a set of awards aimed at connecting students with the XR industry.
- Immutable X is a crypto wallet with passwordless sign-on.
- Luxsonic Technologies announced that the expansion of their sieVRt MLHub project was one of 14 to be selected in the Focus Fund.
- Meta won court approval to acquire Within.
- Prisms VR announced $12.5 million in a Series A round from Andreessen Horowitz.
- Samsung, Google, and Qualcomm are working together to make an immersive tech platform, though details are currently scarce.
- Straylight, a web-slinging VR game, is now out on major immersive platforms.
- I had a go at this, and I loved it. Feels smooth, and fun to skirt through the stars.
- The VR Hive is running an immersive competition targeting mental health.
- Ultraleap hired Miguel Rodrigues as SVP Product at the company.
- Visions of Tomorrow is a curated collection of videos that show the potential of immersive technologies.
- Web3 Creator Summit will happen on 7 June.
- Zappar worked with Club Brugge to run an AR campaign: No Heart, No Glory.
Need some assistance from other readers? Let me know at tom (at) immersivewire (dot) com.
- Helen Ponsford (Senior Programme Editor): The Economist is looking to speak to industry experts to research the agenda of The Economist's Enterprise Metaverse Summit taking place in London 27th - 28th June 2023. The event will help senior leaders build and benefit from digital twins to enhance productivity. If participating would be of interest to your company, please get in touch with Helen to discuss.
- Headonists, a UK-based XR community, is looking to compile XR-related events within a single calendar. The calendar itself can be found here, and the submission is here.
That's all for this week! Want to have a chat, let me know about a news story, or talk business? Contact tom (at) immersivewire (dot) com. Have an excellent day!