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Meta pushes collaborative gaming platform Crayta to metaverse-averse users

The news: Meta is looking to give the metaverse-weary a stepping stone into the future via Crayta, a platform that allows users to co-develop and play games with their friends.

  • The company is making Crayta available on Facebook Gaming's cloud-streaming service.

Crayta 101: Meta purchased Unit 2, the UK-based studio behind Crayta, in June 2021.

  • The Unreal Engine 4-based collaborative game-building platform comes with a developer toolkit that makes game development more accessible, across both mobile or desktop. Up to 20 users can work on a game simultaneously.
  • Crayta has a repository of thousands of user-made games that users may explore or add to with their own efforts.
  • Although Crayta has some similarities to Roblox in terms of game creation, it also borrows from Fortnite.
  • Initially a Google Stadia exclusive, Crayta was released on the Epic Games Store last year.

Why it matters: Meta wants to be king of the metaverse—hence its name change from Facebook Inc. last October. Incidentally, its new stock ticker, META, replaced FB on the Nasdaq on Thursday.

  • Horizon Worlds, Meta's social virtual reality (VR) platform, surpassed 300,000 monthly active users earlier this year (despite being available only to those 18 and older in the US and Canada) and has attracted advertisers such as Wendy’s. This week, the company folded its Horizon Venues app, which lets users access VR basketball games, concerts, and 3D experiences, into Horizon Worlds, which should give Worlds greater utility.
  • VR headset Quest 2 has sold nearly 15 million units, per IDC estimates, with one IDC analyst calling it “the most successful VR headset to date.” As a point of comparison, PlayStation 5 has officially sold 20 million units.
  • 45% of US adults most associated Meta with the metaverse in a January poll by Ipsos, a wide margin over Google and Microsoft at 22% and 18%.

A stepping stone: In the announcement, CEO Mark Zuckerberg attested that users can make and enjoy these types of experiences in 2D—even within Facebook’s app or on a desktop.

  • That’s a signal that the company acknowledges that not every internet user wants to dive into the deep end of the metaverse.
  • Meta understands fully well that immersiveness is a continuum, with platforms like Roblox and Fortnite occupying a lower rung, Horizon Worlds and Decentraland being slightly higher—and undoubtedly even more immersive experiences to come.

The big takeaway: Crayta is a more modest but nonetheless important asset that will help the company better establish itself as a metaverse company. But when will that metaverse focus pay off?

  • With Meta's ad sales growth slowing, that gives it less capital to invest in its next-gen Reality Labs division. And with 21% of its headcount tied up in Reality Labs—which accounts for roughly 3% of its revenue, we should note—it's no wonder the division has announced it will scale back spending.
  • Pushing Crayta is one way to meet consumers where they are, have them move upward on that immersion continuum, and cut costs by focusing on user-generated content: in this case, games.

Go further: Our Marketing in the Metaverse webinar is at 11am ET today and will be recorded for those who read this late. You can register here.