Mark Zuckerberg's multi-billion project called Horizon Worlds is facing some real problems as internal documents leaked online have revealed its seemingly failing in slow motion.
The leaked internal documents on Horizon Worlds were obtained by The Wall Street Journal and revealed that Meta put forward a goal of getting as many as 500,000 monthly active users within its metaverse by the end of 2022. However, that goal has fallen incredibly short, with the company now reining back its goal to just 280,000 monthly active users. The only problem is that Horizon Worlds is still yet to hit 200,000 active users, with one of the documents even describing the experience within Meta's metaverse as an "empty world".
It was only recently that Zuckerberg outlined that Horizon Worlds will be designed in such a way that creators can build their own worlds and profit from the experiences they provide players via services, merchandise, etc. However, these player-built worlds require visitors for this to be a worthwhile prospect, and according to the leaked documents majority of player-built worlds didn't pass more than 50 users. This point on relying on online purchases for profit was further illustrated by Zuckerberg when he explained that Meta would be breaking-even on the initial sales of its flagship VR headset, the Meta Quest Pro.
Zuckerberg has previously said that it will take some years to perk the interest of people that are after a more immersive communicative online social experience, but how long can Meta keep pouring billions of dollars into the metaverse fire before it's too late? The company has already spent more than $10 billion in funding Zuckerberg's project, with hardly anything to show for it besides a slew of memes and a realization of how much work needs to be done for the project to be attractive to the masses.
As I have stated in previous articles on Horizon Worlds and the metaverse as a whole, it's clear that the future will involve some level of virtual/augmented reality experience that'll be as adopted as the mobile phone, but what isn't clear is how far away that experience is. Judging by how the market has reacted to today's products of such an experience, it seems there are quite a lot of years between now and then.