Tencent & TikTok owner Bytedance backtracking on metaverse plans
Tencent, the major Chinese tech giant, is culling all plans for virtual reality hardware after cutting costs around their metaverse bet.
Chinese firm Tencent, one of the largest investors and publishers of video games in the world, is pulling out of its metaverse plans. It comes after the recent economic downturn, which has begun to hit the tech industry quite hard in recent weeks.
Tencent slashes XR expectations
Reuters reports that sources told them the various XR projects that Tencent was running wouldn’t become profitable until 2027, as well as not enough games or apps to counter the competition.
However, despite the layoffs and canning of plans, Tencent doesn’t plan to shutter the XR unit entirely.
Layoffs hit TikTok owners Bytedance
Joining them in the metaverse layoffs is ByteDance, owners of TikTok and virtual reality hardware company Pico. The Pico 4 launched late last year to positive reviews, as an alternative to the Meta Quest 2.
It’s reported that around 200 staff were fired from the company. However, speaking with Yicai Global, a tech and finance outlet, ByteDance’s head of VR, said that the day-to-day won’t be affected.
Outside of China, the metaverse projects haven’t gone swimmingly either. Meta, owner of Facebook and formerly named VR hardware company Oculus has sunk $36 billion and plans to continue investing a further $19.2 billion. It’s estimated that Meta has managed to shave off around $700 billion dollars during this focus.
Meta will also be shutting down its Roblox competitor, Crayta, in March and even Microsoft disbanded its metaverse team in 2022.