The metaverse is bad. That’s according to several industry figures and the founder of VR headset startup Oculus is the latest to put it bluntly.
“I don’t think it’s a good product,” Palmer Luckey said of Metaverse’s flagship product, Horizon Worlds, at the the wall street journal Tech Live conference.
Oculus was acquired by Facebook in 2014 for $2 billion as part of the company’s hugely expensive, nearly decade-long pursuit of its virtual reality universe. Luckey, who was fired from Facebook in 2016, now runs security and defense products startup Anduril Industries.
“It’s not good, it’s not fun…Most of the team would agree that it’s not a good product,” he said, referring to leaked internal memos revealing that the staff is not very interested and suffers from problems.
Zuckerberg’s “project car”
But it’s not just the quality that has drawn criticism from every angle; Meta is losing big bucks on Mark Zuckerberg’s push into tech so far.
“Mark Zuckerberg is the biggest VR fan in the world,” Luckey said. “He spent more money and time on it than anyone 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 confidence in the company decrease significantly. Since the company changed its name to Meta in 2021, Zuckberg’s personal net worth has fallen more than $70 billion, while since Monday Meta shares are down more than 60% since the start of the l ‘year.
Luckey lamented Zuckerberg’s intense push toward virtual reality, likening the Metaverse to the CEO’s “project car” — an incredibly expensive hobby that you ultimately lose money on.
“You hack it and maybe no one else sees the value in it… Will they stumble? Yes of course. Will they waste money? Will they add things to their project car that hack later? Yes.”
Despite the criticism, Luckey thinks the Metaverse could still succeed because there’s enough money at stake to rationalize the current issues.
“It’s terrible today, but it could be amazing in the future,” he said. “Zuckerberg will put in the money to do it. They are in the best position to win in the long run.
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