Meta’s Reality Labs division has reported a revenue of £553million in the first quarter of 2022, but that’s vastly overshadowed by losses of £2.3billion ($2.96billion). That’s a sharp increase in losses, as a year earlier losses were at £1.4billion ($1.83billion).
The losses reflect Meta’s increasing focus on CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s vision of the metaverse, which he revealed alongside Facebook’s Meta rebrand in October 2021.
Since then, the company has announced that it is working on a “massive AI research supercomputer“, which will help to “enable completely new user experiences, especially in the metaverse.”
The concept of the metaverse has also been heavily criticised. Children’s charity NSPCC has labelled some metaverse apps as “dangerous by design”, after a researcher found that sexual content, grooming and racism was prevalent in VRChat.
Xbox head Phil Spencer has also chipped in, suggesting that tech companies are not taking the right approach to the metaverse.
“I think it’s easy for a lot of tech companies to describe why the metaverse might be better for their company. But we’ve just learned that if we put the player at the centre, to use my gaming vocabulary again, and try to build an ecosystem that works around their needs and creator needs, that the platform dynamic will take off,” said Spencer.
On the metaverse, Spencer also asked “why is it better for players? Why is it better for creators?”