Microsoft’s Metaverse and VR initiatives set to slow during ongoing layoff season
Microsoft, which announced layoffs of 5% of its total team earlier this year, hasn’t even spared its rising virtual reality (VR) and metaverse units. The software giant has reportedly decided to pull back the curtains on two related projects – Altspacevr and the Mixed Reality Toolkit. In the coming days, metaverse and VR projects that were in Microsoft’s pipeline may experience development and testing delays. A total of 10,000 employees are being laid off as the company prioritizes cost cutting amid current market turmoil.
With Altspacevr, Microsoft was creating virtual environments to serve as digital event venues for international artists. It was an independent platform, which was acquired by Microsoft in 2017. Job cuts at the tech giant have impacted this team.
Meanwhile, the unit behind the Mixed Reality Toolkit has focused on creating user interfaces for Metaverse projects. The roadmap for the future of this division remains undecided at this time, Bitcoin.news reported.
The Redmond, Washington, USA-based company is accelerating its efforts to tap into the metaverse market. Former Apple and Meta employees, Microsoft has engaged with AR and VR developers as a whole.
The company’s CEO, Satya Nadella, has also spoken out in favor of the metaverse concept, calling it a game changer.
The metaverse is here, and it’s not only transforming the way we see the world, but also the way we participate in it – from the factory to the boardroom. Looked. pic.twitter.com/h5tsdYMXRD
— Satya Nadella (@satyanadella) November 2, 2021
Previously, Microsoft pledged $69 billion (about Rs. 5,62,574 crore) as down payment on the metaverse sector.
Its decision to downsize on this front could also contribute to the current crisis in the Web3 industry.
Ahead of Microsoft, Meta also announced that it would be laying off 11,000 employees, including staff from its own Metaverse-related teams. A significant portion of developers in the metaverse sector have been left behind.
For advertisers and brands that expect to use metaverse technology to interact with their native Web3 customers, these layoffs could push the implementation of their plans.
Bloomberg Intelligence expects the market opportunity for the metaverse to reach $800 billion (roughly Rs. 59,58,719 crore) by 2024.