Luckey founded Oculus and sold it to Facebook for $2 billion in 2014.
He wants the Metaverse built, but says Facebook’s current product, Horizon, is “not good.”
Still, Luckey sees the possibility of the company succeeding in the future.
Palmer Luckey isn’t a fan of what Mark Zuckerberg has produced for the Metaverse so far, though he thinks it could eventually succeed.
The Oculus founder, speaking at the Wall Street Journal’s Tech Live conference on Monday, said of Horizon Worlds, Facebook’s main metaverse product, “I don’t think it’s a good product.”
Luckey sold Oculus, a virtual reality startup, to Facebook in 2014 for $2 billion. It’s part of a more than $15 billion investment in what Zuckerberg now calls the Metaverse, an immersive digital world accessible through AR and VR devices.
The tech giant doesn’t have much to show for this massive spending spree other than a new company name, Meta, a few VR headsets, and the first digital platform Horizon Worlds.
“It’s not good, it’s not fun,” Luckey said of Horizon. “Most of the team would agree that it’s not a good product.”
Luckey was fired from Facebook in 2016, which he says happened because of his political donations to an “unpopular” cause. He now runs Anduril Industries, a startup focused on security and defense products. Despite his controversial departure, Luckey is a builder and lifelong fan of augmented reality and virtual reality, and he wants Facebook to succeed in building it.
“Mark Zuckerberg is the biggest VR fan in the world,” Luckey said. “He spent more money and time on it than anyone in history.”
He said the amount of money Zuckerberg is spending on the project alone means there’s a chance Horizon Worlds will improve and the Metaverse will be a success. “It’s terrible today, but it could be amazing in the future,” he said. “Zuckerberg will put in the money to do it. They are in the best position to win in the long run.”
It will take time and involve mistakes, he added, comparing it to a “project car”, a luxury automobile for which the owner spends a lot of money as a hobby.
“You hack it and maybe no one else sees the value in it,” Luckey said. “Are they going to stumble? Yeah sure. Are they going to waste money? Are they going to add things to their project car that they hack later? Yes.”
So far, Facebook’s move to building the metaverse has been costly. Last year, the company lost $10 billion on Reality Labs, the division that now covers all metaverse projects, including Oculus, renamed Meta Quest. Wall Street analysts expect it to lose more than $10 billion this year.
Wall Street hasn’t reacted well to the project so far, especially as Facebook now faces a slowing rate of user and revenue growth. After Zuckerberg showed off avatars with legs that aren’t actually available earlier this month, along with other metaverse advancements that aren’t ready for prime time, Facebook stocks have fallen to their knees. lowest price since 2018.
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