Nothing has been more of a spectacle to watch than Meta’s bet on the metaverse — more specifically Horizon Worlds, a virtual reality video game platform from the company. It appears Meta isn’t ready to give up on Horizon Worlds just yet, as internal documents from the company reveal a revamping strategy of the platform that’s aimed at enticing teen users.
The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that a memo sent by the head of the team working to revamp Horizon Worlds, Gabriel Aul, outlined plans to open up the game to users age 13 to 17. Horizon Worlds was previously only available to those 18 or older, and the extension into teen territory could happen as soon as March.
“Today our competitors are doing a much better job meeting the unique needs of these cohorts,” Aul wrote in the memo, titled “Horizon 2023 Goals and Strategies.” “For Horizon to succeed we need to ensure that we serve this cohort first and foremost.”
Meta did not immediately return Gizmodo’s request for comment on the initiative.
Meta’s attempts to push the world into the metaverse have been facing some friction, as Horizon Worlds apparently has a user retention problem. Last February, Horizon Worlds hit 300,000 users, a reported ten-fold increase in three months. The company’s initial goal was to hit 500,000 monthly active users, which was then revised to 280,000. However, Horizon Worlds eventually fell to 200,000 users, with internal documents indicating that most users fail to return to the platform after a month — when the novelty has mostly worn off.
In addition to expanding its user base to include teenagers, the company is also allegedly tasked with improving the service itself by preventing bugs from hampering the user experience. Likewise, Meta is interested in making Horizon Worlds as safe as possible for the incoming, younger users — which the company has a checkered past of with its other platforms.
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