Chinese firm Tencent Holdings made an announcement on June 20th, 2022 that it is forming a new unit called XR or “extended reality”. This unit is going to place bets on virtual worlds in the metaverse.
The main job of the unit is to build up the XR business with hardware and software, according to sources. The unit’s head will be Li Shen, the company’s global CTO and it will be a part of the Interactive Entertainment group.
According to information released by a couple of company sources said that the unit will eventually have 300 people to work on projects. This is a good staffing number in light of the company’s cost cutting measures and slow hiring. The same sources also said that this is a cautious estimate as hiring plans are not yet firm. Headcount will be adjusted by the company after overall performance numbers are accounted for.
This particular unit was set up in early 2022 but was kept under wraps – according to three different sources. ER is a term that covers augmented reality and virtual reality – immersive technologies that are the metaverse’s building blocks. Tencent officially refused to comment on its plans.
Investors and giants in the tech sector have taken a big interest in the metaverse concept since the announcement by Mark Zuckerberg. Facebook’s name change to Meta Platforms and the dedication to creating a new world was greeted with enthusiasm. Tencents’ new XR department is a rare foray into the world of hardware. Tencent is best known for its software for the gaming and social media apps.