The metaverse is bad. That’s according to some prominent industry figures, and founding VR headset startup Oculus is the latest to lay it out in the open.
“I don’t think it’s a good product,” Palmer Luckey said of Meta’s core offering, Horizon Worlds Wall Street Journal’s Tech Live conference.
Oculus was acquired by Facebook in 2014 for $2 billion as part of the company’s hugely expensive and nearly decade-long pursuit of virtual reality. Luckey, who was fired from Facebook in 2016, now runs security and defense products maker Anduril Industries.
“It’s not good, it’s not fun… Most of the team agrees it’s not a good product,” he said, referring to leaked internal memos that show staff are barely interested and plagued by flaws.
Zuckerberg’s “project car”.
But it’s not just the feature that has drawn criticism from all sides; Meta has so far lost a lot of money on Mark Zuckerberg’s push into the technology.
“Mark Zuckerberg is the number one virtual reality fan in the world,” Luckey said. “He’s put more money and time into it than anyone ever has in history.”
In 2021 alone, Meta invested $10 billion in the metaverse and is expected to lose another $10 billion this year.
As a result, profits and trust in the company are significantly reduced. Since the company changed its name to Meta in 2021, Zuckerberg’s personal net worth has fallen by more than $70 billion, but as of Monday, Meta’s stock is down more than 60% year-to-date.
Luckey lamented Zuckerberg’s aggressive push toward VR, likening the medaverse to the CEO’s “project car” — an incredibly expensive hobby that you end up losing money on.
“You hack it and maybe no one else sees the value… Will they stumble? Yes exactly. Will they waste money? Will they add parts to their project car that they later hack off? Yes.”
Despite the criticism, Luckey believes the metaverse could still succeed as there is enough money to optimize the current issue.
“It’s terrible today, but it could be amazing in the future,” he said. “Zuckerberg will put up the money to do it.” They are in the best position of all to win in the long run.”
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