A new report from The Washington Post investigating the turbulent workforce of Meta (formerly Facebook), has reiterated a continuing narrative around the company’s concerted efforts to drive interest in the metaverse and VR, especially in relation to Meta Quest (formerly Oculus Quest) VR headset usage.
As reported by GamesIndustry.biz, sources told the Washington Post that one of Meta’s primary concerns is that new Meta Quest headset owners only use the headset for a few weeks, before their engagement level with the platform drops off significantly.
In addition, users who did use the devices preferred to use third-party VR software – presumably other games and social apps like VRChat – rather than Meta’s own metaverse app, Horizon Worlds.
In October 2022, an internal document highlighted a relatively low userbase for Horizon Worlds – around the 200,000 user mark. Reporting on the document, which came via the Wall Street Journal, also reported that ‘most’ of the worlds in Horizon are ‘barren of users’, and that most users do not return after the first month.
GamesIndustry also reported that Meta’s VR division reported an operating loss of US $13.7 billion in 2022.
Despite the incredible experiences that VR can provide, and continuing advancements in the quality of headset technology, the modern revival of the technology has still yet to become ubiquitous. This can be attributed to one of any number of reasons. But one of the biggest is certainly the price of entry, and the lack of truly remarkable experiences that have a long-lasting effect.
As we found in our experience with the new PlayStation VR2 headset, most of the best things you can use the platform for are the same things that have been around for several years – this applies to all VR platforms.
That said, there is always hope that the next killer app is on the horizon. Meta is holding a Meta Quest Gaming Showcase in 2023, which will play host to a number of new title announcements.