It seems to be a very interesting time in the metaverse space. Despite complaints and criticisms against the metaverse, people are still seeing it as a promising market. It’s paradoxical how Meta’s metaverse investment seems to have burnt its fingers, yet brands like Adidas and Hublot are rushing in. Here are a few interesting happenings recently.
The Biggest Tech Layoff in 2022: Meta Axes 11,000 Employees
Meta has just earned the award of seeing through with the biggest tech layoff in 2022 by axing 11,000 employees. It’s no longer news that Meta has pumped more than a fortune into the metaverse. Reports leaked earlier this week that the company would conduct mass layoffs, rather than cut metaverse investments. Well, Zuckerberg just made good the promise. In a letter that he wrote to employees, Zuckerberg took responsibility for the decision and wrote thus:
“Today I’m sharing some of the most difficult changes we’ve made in Meta’s history. I’ve decided to reduce the size of our team by about 13% and let more than 11,000 of our talented employees go. We are also taking a number of additional steps to become a leaner and more efficient company by cutting discretionary spending and extending our hiring freeze through Q1. I want to take accountability for these decisions and for how we got here. I know this is tough for everyone, and I’m especially sorry to those impacted. As many tech companies have done, Meta is offering employees a significant severance package. Employees will receive 16 weeks of pay, plus two additional weeks for every year they were employed, with no cap. All PTO will be paid, and the company will provide health insurance for employees and their families for six months. Meta will also provide immigration support to employees with work visas.”
Apart from the layoffs, Meta is putting other measures in place to ensure it cuts down on cost, such as reducing its real estate footprint, freezing nearly all hiring for Q1, and analyzing infrastructure investments in an effort to become more efficient. Interestingly, the word “metaverse” was only referenced once in the entire, rather lengthy, letter.
Hublot Brings The FIFA Soccer World Cup To The Metaverse
Hublot, Swiss luxury watchmaker, has made a grand entrance into the metaverse. To celebrate the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, the LVMH owned brand has unveiled its ‘Hublot Loves Football Metaverse Stadium’. It is a virtual arena hosted on the photorealistic spatial.io metaverse, which was designed by architectural practice MEIS – behind IRL sports and entertainment venues like the Crypto.com stadium, Everton FC and Roma Stadiums. The virtual stadium is the largest venue built in the Spatial metaverse to date, and its inspiration came from the silhouette of Hublot’s recently launched Big Bang e-watch. The 90,000-spectator stadium is equipped with a kilometer-long equivalent concourse and media wall showcasing visuals from the Hublot Loves Football campaign linked to the soccer World Cup featuring brand friends and ambassadors like French international striker Kylian Mbappé. It is accessible via mobile and desktop apps or an Oculus headset. In the words of Ricardo Guadalupe, Hublot CEO:
“At Hublot, innovation is the driving force behind everything we do. We’ve decided to explore this new space because we feel that it’s the right moment and that it holds a lot of potential for our brand. Spatial’s accessibility was a major draw. We specifically chose to work with Spatial because it is available on VR, web and mobile. The goal for the Hublot Loves Football Metaverse Stadium is to bring artists, athletes and the brand’s savoir-faire to customers in a new way. We wanted to create a destination. We don’t expect people to spend endless hours in the virtual world, we expect them to live unique experiences. As technology advances and adoption grows, this will be an incredible opportunity to connect with Hublot. Hublot has always been first, unique and different so this was a natural step.”
Earlier in 2018, Hublot unveiled its limited edition Big Bang Meca-10 P2P timepiece — only available for purchase via Bitcoin payment to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the currency.
Adidas About to Reveal a New Collection for their Metaverse.
Adidas, one of the sportswear giants, is making waves about the launch of a new collection in their metaverse. As it stands, there’s a countdown timer on the brand’s metaverse site talking about new collections that would go public by next week. The site is also visualising a range of 3D Adidas clothing avatars. Many suspect that this new release will come as NFTs but no hint has been given regarding the features of these collectibles. It’s interesting to know that this Adidas tease comes after an announcement from OpenSea yesterday, where the NFT marketplace announced significant changes to their royalty model. As it is, OpenSea has announced that it will establish a new royalty model to generate more profits for the creators. Over the last few months, creators and artists have been demanding separate fees for their contributions to the NFT space, which would allow them to more freely contribute to the wider non-fungible token market.
In response, OpenSea plans to enforce on-chain fees for creators from November 8th. These fees will only be enforced on new collections. There’d be lots of challenges trying to enforce the new on-chain fee on existing collections; they’d have to wait till December. People think that this OpenSea’s announcement is the drive behind Adidas’ move. The brand has recently suffered significant financial losses after cutting ties with Kanye West. Severing its partnership with Kanye’s popular sneaker collections ‘Yeezy’ will potentially cost the brand $246 million in profits this year. There’s the possibility that the brand aims to cover more grounds leveraging the expanding web3 space, and this new collection might just be a step in that direction.