It seems that the metaverse may be facing some setbacks, as several major brands have put their metaverse plans on hold or cancelled them altogether. However, it’s important to note that the metaverse is not completely dead. Industry analysts still see immense potential in the concept, with projections suggesting that global metaverse investment will exceed $1.3 trillion by 2030.
One of the brands that has seemingly shifted its focus away from the metaverse is Meta (formerly Facebook). While Meta’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, had previously emphasized the company’s commitment to building the metaverse, recent messaging from the company indicates a change in priorities. Meta’s layoffs and the focus on AI development suggest that the metaverse is no longer at the forefront of their plans.
Other big players in the tech industry, such as Microsoft and Disney, have also faced challenges with their metaverse projects. Microsoft reportedly cancelled its Mixed Reality HoloLens 3 headset due to disagreements over a go-to-market strategy. Instead, they are investing more heavily in Microsoft Mesh, a cross-platform remote collaboration solution.
Disney’s plans for a family-friendly metaverse have also suffered setbacks, as layoffs hit their extended reality team. The department responsible for next-generation storytelling and immersive experiences was completely cut from the company.
Even Neopets, a retro gaming company that gained popularity, has cancelled its metaverse plans. The company cited negative feedback from the community and limited resources as reasons for their decision.
Financial issues and technology development challenges could be contributing to these setbacks. XR companies, including Meta, have faced significant revenue losses, and supply chain issues and a talent shortage have hampered development. Additionally, changes in customer sentiment, with a growing interest in generative AI, have led companies to prioritize other innovations over the metaverse.
Despite these setbacks, it’s important to note that the metaverse is not completely over. Major brands like Microsoft and Meta are still invested in the concept, and new XR innovators continue to emerge. The metaverse may experience a temporary hiatus as companies re-align their priorities, but it is likely to resurface in the future as technology advances and market conditions change.