Tencent lays off employees from its virtual reality department and rules out the creation of its own hardware | we are xbox
The great investment in virtual reality dwindles a bit after this event. Tencent lays off employees from its virtual reality department and they are backing down in their attempt to be an important element in this market that needs further exploration. This is relevant, since Tencent has all the financial support to carry out this incursion, and even then, it will not do it anymore.
The information comes thanks to Reuters and its connection with three informants who expressly requested that their anonymity be maintained. Tencent’s ambitious plans do not go further, even this detail has already been corroborated by the company itself, although with a less fatalistic tone, as is evident.
Tencent lays off employees from its virtual reality department, a blow to the technology landscape
These ambitious plans date back to June of last year, when Tencent was building a dedicated, VR-focused team. This team was made up of 300 people, and they would be in charge of the software and their own hardware. Tencent’s creation of hardware is unusual, up to that point they were willing to risk it.
The hardware was going to be in the shape of a ring, as portable as possible. The large investment required, a need and lack of promising games and a profitability that would not arrive until 2027 were the causes of Tencent’s rebuff. The Chinese giant stated that adjustments were being made to this development team, since the plans with the hardware had changed. This implies the dismissal of many employees, although the company has confirmed that it will not disintegrate its virtual reality team completely.
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This push towards virtual reality, seeing the case of companies like Google and Meta delving into this new terrain, was abruptly cut short. This is due to the bad moment of Tencent, which is going through a complicated regulatory crackdown on Covid-19 in China. They are not in the red, or at risk of disappearing, it is just that they are not in a position to invest a significant number in a market that does not offer great confidence, especially in the short term.