The virtual reality (VR) platform, Horizon Worlds, developed by Meta (formerly Facebook), has been facing challenges in recent times. Despite reporting losses of $3.7 billion in the second quarter of 2023, Meta remains fully committed to the metaverse and artificial intelligence (AI). To revitalize the lagging Horizon Worlds platform and reignite consumer interest, Meta is taking a bold step by launching its own in-house VR game studio named Ouro Interactive. In this blog, we will explore Meta’s strategy, the new technological advancements, and how they plan to reach out to a wider audience, including mobile gamers.
Ouro Interactive: A New In-House VR Game Studio
Meta’s metaverse Vice President, Vishal Shah, revealed in an interview with tech newsletter Lowpass that the company has established a first-party game studio called Ouro Interactive. The studio aims to raise the bar by utilizing cutting-edge technological advancements to create visually stunning and immersive experiences for Horizon Worlds users. Their latest game, “Super Rumble,” received praise for its enhanced visual complexity, interactivity, and fun gameplay.
Targeting Mobile Gamers
Understanding the potential of the vast mobile gaming market, Meta plans to expand Horizon Worlds to app stores in the future. While the specific timeline is yet to be disclosed, Vishal Shah shared insights into the company’s vision. By enabling cross-platform play, the mobile version will serve as a bridge for users without VR headsets, making Horizon Worlds more inclusive and accessible. This shift signifies Meta’s transition from being VR-only to becoming VR-first.
Supporting Complex Games and User-Friendly Tools
Over the past year, Horizon Worlds has been focused on supporting more complex games and facilitating developers to import assets through third-party tools. Additionally, Meta is investing in generative AI tools to empower users with no prior experience in professional 3D rendering to build content in the virtual world easily. This approach promotes creativity and encourages more people to actively engage with the metaverse.
Meta’s Commitment to AI and the Metaverse
During an earnings call, Meta’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, reiterated the company’s commitment to AI and the metaverse, emphasizing that they are now “overlapping and complementary” priorities. For Horizon Worlds, the primary focus is on improving user retention, with significant advancements in avatar technology acting as a bridge between mobile apps and VR/mixed reality experiences.
Reality Labs Operating Losses
Despite Meta’s efforts to rejuvenate the Horizon Worlds metaverse, the company reported an operating loss of $3.7 billion in its Reality Labs department during Q2 2023. This unit is responsible for Quest VR headsets and the Horizon Worlds platform. The losses were attributed to ongoing product development, indicating the company’s dedication to enhancing user experiences despite the financial challenges.
Meta’s Renewed Interest Amidst Industry Trends
Meta’s renewed dedication to the metaverse comes at a time when other companies are scaling back their metaverse projects. Notably, Disney reportedly laid off its metaverse team and discontinued virtual world-building efforts in March. Meta’s steadfast approach showcases their belief in the potential of the metaverse, and they are committed to navigating the challenges to realize its full potential.
Meta’s ambitious move to establish the in-house VR game studio, Ouro Interactive, and their focus on technological advancements and mobile accessibility showcases their determination to revitalize the Horizon Worlds metaverse platform. By fostering a more immersive and inclusive user experience, coupled with a commitment to AI and the metaverse, Meta seeks to overcome financial hurdles and rekindle consumer interest in the metaverse. As the metaverse evolves, Meta’s initiatives will likely play a pivotal role in shaping the future of virtual reality and social interactions in the digital realm.
What is Ouro Interactive, and how does it relate to Meta’s Horizon Worlds metaverse platform?
Ouro Interactive is Meta’s newly established in-house VR game studio. It is responsible for developing first-party titles for the Horizon Worlds metaverse platform. The studio aims to enhance the user experience by creating visually appealing and immersive games that leverage cutting-edge technological advancements. By developing high-quality content, Ouro Interactive seeks to rejuvenate interest in Horizon Worlds and make it a more engaging and exciting virtual reality experience for users.
Will Horizon Worlds be accessible to mobile gamers in the future, and how will this be achieved?
Yes, Meta has plans to make Horizon Worlds accessible to mobile gamers in the future. The company aims to achieve this by bringing the Metaverse platform to app stores. While the exact timeline for this expansion has not been revealed yet, Meta’s approach includes integrating cross-platform play. This means that the mobile version of Horizon Worlds will act as a bridge for users who do not own VR headsets, allowing them to participate in the metaverse experience. By embracing mobile accessibility, Meta aims to broaden its user base and make Horizon Worlds more inclusive for a diverse audience.
What steps is Meta taking to encourage user-generated content creation within Horizon Worlds?
Meta is committed to supporting user-generated content creation within Horizon Worlds. Over the past year, the platform has focused on enabling developers to create more complex games and allowing them to import assets using third-party tools. Additionally, Meta is investing in generative AI tools, which will simplify the content creation process for users who may not have prior experience in professional 3D rendering. By providing these user-friendly tools, Meta aims to empower individuals to unleash their creativity and build their unique experiences within the metaverse, fostering a vibrant and dynamic virtual community.