Meta’s metaverse is underperforming: Horizon Worlds is losing users and failing to attract new ones

In Brief

Meta lowered Horizon Worlds monthly active user target from 500,000 to 280,000, but it is currently below 200,000

Some users don’t return to Horizon Worlds after one month of gameplay


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Horizon Worlds

Meta’s metaverse platform Horizon Worlds fails to meet the expectations of luring and maintaining new users, the Wall Street Journal reported. It’s been one year since Facebook shifted its focus to the metaverse and rebranded to Meta, but the beginning of this journey hasn’t been easy.

Today, Meta’s new business direction is struggling to gain traction. The company invested over $15 billion in the metaverse, but the stock price fell over 60% in the last year.

Horizon Worlds is Meta’s free online VR video game. It allows users to meet friends, play games, and attend events. For now, Horizon Worlds is only available in the US, Canada, France, and Spain and requires the Oculus Quest 2 headset. 

Meta’s initial goal for Horizon Worlds was to reach 500,000 monthly active users (MAU) by the end of 2022, but the company recently lowered the target to 280,000. Currently, the MAU is below 200,000 users. 

“User experience, navigation, and visuals fell short of expectations. There seems to be a mismatch between Meta’s focus on scalability, which reduces graphic quality, and people’s desire for high-quality, immersive experiences,”

CMO of Sensorium, Alex Kim, spoke about Meta’s gameplay experience. 

Also, visiting users often don’t return to Horizon Worlds after the first month of playing. More than 90% of creator-built worlds have fewer than 50 total visitors. 

Meta researchers believe a number of factors contribute to the loss of users. Users reported that they weren’t satisfied with Horizon’s virtual worlds and had difficulty finding other people to hang out with. The Quest 2 headset is also a setback. The device costs $400, and more than half of the headset users stop using them six months after the purchase. 

Sebastian Menge, the co-founder of Fitburn, shared his insights with Metaverse Post: 

“While I also think the world and the technology are not ready yet for this metaverse adoption, Horizon Worlds is lacking the doors to mainstream accessibility.” 

Menge believes that Horizon World’s underperformance isn’t surprising since the world and the technology are not ready for mass metaverse adoption. While Meta is a pioneer in the global metaverse revolution, the tech giant will have to introduce some more advanced real-world use cases that would attract more people to visit the virtual worlds, attend concerts in the metaverse, or play some ego perspective role games, he explained.

Last week, Meta announced the release date of its new VR headset – the Meta Quest Pro. The headset will be available on October 25, although the price tag ($1,500) stunned many VR advocates.

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin stated in August that Meta’s metaverse would misfire. Will the crypto genius’ prediction eventually come true? 

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Agne Cimermanaite

Agne is a journalist and writer with a background in literature, culture, and arts. She entered the Web3 space in 2021 and began writing about cryptocurrency and NFTs. Agne is passionate about technology and storytelling and is always on the lookout for exciting stories.

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