Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has decided to overhaul the company’s flagship metaverse app Horizon Worlds after it received heavy criticism due to its graphic simplicity. The backlash was received as a consequence of one of the selfies of Zuckerberg’s avatar in Horizon Worlds presented to illustrate the launch of the platform in Spain and France.
Horizon Worlds to Get Graphics Overhaul
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, a social media and VR company, announced that a series of changes are coming to Horizon Worlds, Meta’s metaverse-focused app, to make it more immersive and visually impressive for users.
Zuckerberg delivered the news via an Instagram post, where he also showed the new graphical style that the platform will use in the future. He explained:
Major updates to Horizon and avatar graphics coming soon … The graphics in Horizon are capable of much more — even on headsets — and Horizon is improving very quickly.
The announced overhaul comes in answer to backlash that originated from a selfie of his avatar used to announce the launch of Horizon Worlds in Spain and France, which some users qualified as outdated due to its simple graphics.
The graphics of the image prompted influencers, columnists, and everyday users to criticize Meta. Kevin Roose of the New York Times stated:
It’s genuinely puzzling that Meta spent more than $10 billion on VR last year and the graphics in its flagship app still look worse than a 2008 Wii game.
Others also criticized the company, comparing the graphics shown to what pre-2000 tech could do. Emily Gorcenski, a U.S. activist and data analyst, declared:
Come work for Meta, where the most brilliant technologists of the day have achieved 1995 level graphics.
However, Zuckerberg explained the graphics of the digital selfie, stating:
I know the photo I posted earlier this week was pretty basic — it was taken very quickly to celebrate a launch.
The criticism comes as Meta has been investing a significant amount of funds into its metaverse unit, Reality Labs. While the unit registered sales of more than $400 million during Q2 2022, its losses reached $2.8 billion during the same period. The company issued $10 billion in bonds earlier this month in order to keep funding its operations, including its metaverse division.
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