Meta Seeks to Boost Its Metaverse Gaming Credentials

Meta Seeks to Boost Its Metaverse Gaming Credentials

Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta and its metaverse division Reality Labs are refocusing their efforts on gaming, according to sources within the organization.

The news comes against the backdrop of significant cuts at the firm. Zuckerberg previously announced that 2023 would be Meta’s ‘Year of Efficiency.’

Fun and games

Reality Labs will refocus its efforts toward gaming as company CEO Mark Zuckerberg searches for the killer metaverse app.

While the rest of Meta’s employees live in fear of layoffs, teams working on gaming-related projects can feel reassured that their positions will remain intact. This is according to employees at the company who spoke to Insider earlier this week.

“There’s a recognition now that they need the real game developers onside,” said a source within the firm.

Meta executives are now working to retool Quest headsets to better fit the demands of gaming and game developers. The team is also in discussion with outside developers to see whether a major gaming franchise such as Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto can be brought into the Quest store.

Not all good news

While some Reality Labs developers need not fear the axe, there are others who may not be as safe.

In February, Zuckerberg announced Meta’s ‘Year of Efficiency’ while a month later the company revealed that this efficiency would involve a further 10,000 jobs cuts, following 11,000 cuts last November. The most recent round of layoffs began on Wednesday and will continue right through May. 

The next wave of dismissals is expected to begin on May 22.

Game developers in Reality Labs may be among the only workers who are safe from the chop. Entire divisions are expected to be dissolved and non-gaming developers will be at risk, even if they work under the Reality Labs umbrella.

Criticisms from Doom creator

One of the major critical voices of Meta is their former consulting CTO John Carmack. Carmack is best known as the lead developer on legendary gaming titles such as Doom and Quake.

Resigning from his position in December 2022, Carmack said, “We have a ridiculous amount of people and resources, but we constantly self-sabotage and squander efforts. There is no way to sugar coat [sic] this; I think our organization is operating at half the effectiveness that would make me happy,” said Carmack.

In a final fit of exasperation, Carmack added the following comment to his resignation letter:

“I have a voice at the highest levels here, so it feels like I should be able to move things, but I’m evidently not persuasive enough.”

It is notable that having voiced his efficiency concerns a final time, Meta went on to announce an entire year dedicated to that very same thing. Perhaps it is also noteworthy to consider that Zuckerberg always touted Meta’s metaverse as a place for social interactions, work, and commerce.

Curiously, now that the company has lost one of the gaming all-time greats in Carmack, the firm will pivot its metaverse ambitions toward gaming. Whether there is a connection in some way is a topic readers may speculate upon. But if Carmack’s intention was to send a message, perhaps it has belatedly been received loud and clear.

Image credits: Shutterstock, CC images, Midjourney, Unsplash.