Mark Zuckerberg's Metaverse Strategies Draw Concerns From VR Developers

Some virtual reality developers complained against Meta Platforms Inc META of overly strict requirements and high bar to get programs into its app store, the Washington Post reports.

Some were also worried regarding its acquisition spree and poaching of top talent, throttling competition. They were also worried about Meta's ability to collect data on the most popular apps in its app store and then release its own competing programs.

Meta, as Facebook dominated social media partly by buying up-and-coming rivals, appears to be repeating that strategy in VR. Since buying the VR, start-up Oculus Meta has become the dominant player in the space, claiming 90% of all virtual reality headset sales. 

Meta has pinned its hopes on the metaverse to develop a multibillion-dollar consumer market. It pledged to spend $10 billion annually on the immersive virtual world filled with avatars for the next ten years.

Meta has denied the allegations claiming, "We recognize we won't be successful unless VR developers thrive."

Meta's quest to cultivate an ecosystem of virtual reality developers could be a critical tool as the company faces down the expected competition in the space from rivals such as Apple Inc AAPL and TikTok parent ByteDance Ltd.

Moor Insights & Strategy analyst Anshel Sag acknowledged Meta's moat of content, making it a VR developer's first preference. He wondered whether Apple could match and the time it would take to accomplish.

Meta faced fresh scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission over its acquisition of a famous VR workout game maker, 'Within,' following months of conversations between developers and the FTC about Meta's role as a gatekeeper in the VR industry.

Earlier, the developers complained against the fees set around apps created for its VR headsets despite chief Mark Zuckerberg's criticism against charging policies on existing mobile app stores.

Meta scooped Lofelt, specializing in haptic technology, amid the FTC inquiry. 

TFI International Securities analyst said Meta's metaverse hardware/headset business has slowed. The firm slashed Meta's shipment forecast for the category by 25-35% to 7 million-8 million for 2022. 

Price Action: META shares traded higher by 1.70% at $150.53 on the last check Wednesday.

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