Tencent Holdings is abandoning plans to venture into virtual reality hardware, as a sobering economic outlook prompts the Chinese tech giant to cut costs and headcount at its metaverse unit, three sources familiar with the matter said.
The world’s largest video game publisher had ambitious plans to build both virtual reality software and hardware at an “extended reality” XR unit it launched in June last year, for which it hired nearly 300 people.
It had come up with a concept for a ring-like hand-held game controller, but difficulties in achieving quick profitability and the large investment needed to produce a competitive product were among factors that prompted a shift away from that strategy, two of the sources said.
One of the sources said the XR project was not expected to become profitable until 2027, according to an internal forecast. The second source said the unit also had a lack of promising games and non-gaming applications.