Despite the seeming bleak future of the metaverse, some players in the space have remained obstinate and determined to stick to it until they start reaping its dividends. Although there are expectations that the chief funder of metaverse, Meta, would turn its back, the reverse seems to be the case as you should find in this post, along with other interesting facts.
Meta’s Reality Labs Lost $14 Billion Last Year
It’s interesting how Zuckerberg’s Metaverse ambitions continue to look like a money pit, costing Meta tens of billions of dollars over the last two years. Once again, its Reality Labs have recorded a colossal loss per its 2022 end of year financial statements. Despite the records, Meta’s leadership still remains committed to the venture. In Q4 2022 alone, Meta sank $4.3 in Virtual Reality. Adding the $3.7 billion burnt in Q3, the $3 billion sunk in Q2, and the $2.96 billion thrown away in Q1, Meta’s Metaverse division losses for 2022 total $13.7 billion. This is worse than the preceding year (2021), when Reality Lab brought about a loss of $10.2 billion. Despite the mounting losses, CEO Mark Zuckerberg maintained that the company’s efforts would pay off in the next decade and that thinking hasn’t changed. It gets more intriguing as Meta also expects to lose money in 2023, according to CFO Susan Li. However, it considers the metaverse as a long-term investment that would pay off at a time in the future.
It should be remembered that Meta released its latest VR headset for enterprise operations last year. That’s the $1,500 Quest Pro. However VR sales and shipments were mortifying in 2022 compared to the previous year. It expects to release a cheaper consumer-oriented model this year to succeed the Meta Quest 2. Along with the monetary losses, in December, Meta also lost the legendary programmer John Carmack, as well as laid off 11,000 employees the previous month –about 13% of its staff.
Although Meta’s numbers took a downward leap, they exceeded analyst expectations. Due to that glass-half-full outlook and Meta’s announced $40 billion in share buybacks, the company’s stocks rallied this week. Meta’s market cap rose 27 percent in one day, which is better than a $100 billion jump. This rise – which was its best in a decade – only returned Meta to where it was last June. It hasn’t started to regain the half trillion dollars of value it has lost since late 2021 but the future seems less bleak than it used to be.
Interpol To Police Metaverse Crimes
There’s a saying that technology births its own complexities. With life and transaction becoming internet-based, crime also tends to shift proportionately. Criminals are beginning to target users on platforms that are similar to the metaverse and this necessitates a response from law enforcement agencies. The International Criminal Police Organization (ICPO), a.k.a, Interpol, is already strategizing on how it could curb crimes in the metaverse. However, a top Interpol executive believes there are issues with defining a metaverse crime. This information was revealed by Secretary General, Jurgen Stock, according to the BBC. He highlighted the ability of “sophisticated and professional” criminals to adapt to new technological tools for committing crimes.
It is worthy of mention that Interpol itself is not entirely alien to the metaverse as it launched its own metaverse platform four months ago, in October 2022. This was at the 90th Interpol General Assembly in New Delhi, India. During the launch, the announcement read:
“As the number of Metaverse users grows and the technology further develops, the list of possible crimes will only expand to potentially include crimes against children, data theft, money laundering, financial fraud, counterfeiting, ransomware, phishing, and sexual assault and harassment.”
In the words of the Executive Director of Interpol, Madan Oberoi:
“There are crimes where I don’t know whether it can still be called a crime or not. If you look at the definitions of these crimes in physical space, and you try to apply it in the metaverse, there is a difficulty.”
He further revealed that Interpol is also challenged with raising awareness about possible metaverse crimes. While launching its metaverse platform in October 2022, Interpol also created a dedicated unit to fight crypto crimes. The initiatives followed Interpol’s “red notice” to global law enforcement in September for the arrest of Terraform Labs co-founder Do Kwon.
OKX and Manchester City Players Launch Immersive Metaverse Fan Experience
OKX has recently announced that it has partnered with Manchester City Football Club stars Jack Grealish, Rúben Dias, Ilkay Gündoğan and Alex Greenwood to launch the ‘OKX Collective’, an immersive metaverse experience designed specifically for fans. OKX is one of the world’s leading technology and Web3 companies and home to the world’s second largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume. This brainchild, OKX Collective, is a unique virtual metaverse environment that allows fans to experience Web3 first-hand and gain access to special content, experiences and rewards from some of their favourite Manchester City players.
On a visit to the platform,fans will be treated to special experiences designed around each player’s playing style and personal interests. These will include exclusive training content and music and NFT-based digital experiences. At the launch, Manchester City forward Jack Grealish said:
“Manchester City and OKX are both winners. Combining football and the metaverse brings fans closer to the action! I’ve had a lot of fun bringing my digital profile to life with the support of the Club and OKX.”
Ilkay Gundogan, the Club Captain continued by stressing the importance of community in the football world, and admitted that he is personally keen to learn more about OKX as a whole and how to bring fans closer to the action. In his words:
“Football is all about community, and City fans are the best in the world, so we know the OKX Collective will be an incredible place. I’ve been following developments in Web3 for some time. I can’t wait to learn even more with OKX and bring fans closer to the action.”
OKX is the official training kit partner for Manchester City Football Club for the 2022/23 season. They also partner with a number of the world’s top brands and athletes, including McLaren Formula 1, the Tribeca Festival, golfer Ian Poulter, Olympian Scotty James, and F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo.