META is pulling the plug on several of its metaverse projects after it faced major financial losses.
Facebook-parent Meta is scrapping several of its Reality Labs initiatives, according to Reuters.
It’s unclear exactly which projects will be discontinued, but Meta’s chief technology officer Andrew Bosworth told employees the company can no longer fund some of its work, per En Gadget.
However, some of the metaverse projects are only slated to be “postponed” and not fully scrapped.
A Meta spokesperson confirmed that layoffs are not a part of the proposed changes, according to Reuters.
The latest news comes after Facebook revealed last month that it would scale back on costs this year.
Furthermore, the company announced that it would hire fewer employees in 2022.
Specifically, it would reduce hiring for mid-to-senior-level positions.
Facebook’s division Reality Labs – the unit which focuses on AR and VR development – is where the losses are mostly coming from.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed that the division lost $ 10 billion in 2021 and $ 3 billion in the first quarter of this year.
Despite the losses and several canceled projects, the division is still pushing forward with Project Cambria – a mixed reality headset with face and eye-tracking.
Zuckerberg also said that he is planning to generate revenue from Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp to fund future investments for Reality Labs.
“Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen in 2022,” he said.
What is the metaverse?
The META CEO has long been vocal about his plans for the “metaverse”.
This is defined as a digital world that will combine gaming, social media, augmented reality, and cryptocurrency for an integrated user experience.
“The metaverse is the next evolution of social connection,” Meta writes on a webpage that also hosts a 13-part audio series detailing Zuckerberg’s vision for the virtual space.
This ‘evolution’, it appears, is already here as companies like Microsoft, Apple, and Nvidia are already laying the groundwork for decentralized virtual spaces.
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