Meta to close Echo VR this summer. (Echo Games)

Meta to Close Echo VR While Spending Nearly $1 Billion per Month on the Metaverse

Our eye on the charts, the Biden Administration’s most recent publication on crypto, Echo VR to close this summer, an insight into Meta’s Metaverse investments, and news in brief from PSVR, HTC, Somnium Space, Crayta, The XR Advisory Council, and … Sega?

An Eye on the Charts

Major coins started the week relatively stable, followed by a big rise and fall near the middle of the week. Following a few days of renewed stability, values started to climb later in the week seeing Bitcoin around $24k and Ethereum around $1.7k.

Many other projects also ended the week in the green, with many tokens up between 5% and 10%. Polygon and Litecoin are both up around 15%, with the Avalanche token up over 20%.

An Eye on the Fed

The White House released a “Roadmap to Mitigate Cryptocurrencies’ Risks.” The release says that cryptocurrencies could pose a risk to the broader financial market, but says that this has so far been limited. It recommends that legislators avoid “(deepening) ties between cryptocurrencies and the broader financial system, while also teasing a forthcoming framework on crypto development.

While the Biden Administration has long been interested in cryptocurrencies, including its own potential development of a central bank digital currency, this release was likely at least partly in response to growing calls from state governments to allow or even adopt crypto. In a most recent example, California is reportedly exploring using blockchain for motor vehicle titling and transfers.

Another VR Community in Morning

After last week’s announcement by Microsoft that AltspaceVR is closing down, developer Ready at Dawn (owned by Meta) announced that Echo VR is coming to an end this summer. The wildly popular free-to-play arena games based on mechanics from the studio’s narrative Lone Echo titles had gained traction in the eSports community and was becoming something of an industry in itself.

Fans and players have not taken the news well. Some suspect that the closure is to make way for a new, as-yet-unannounced successor to the six-year-old game favoring more modern hardware capabilities. Others have started an online petition to save the game, which has already gotten tens of thousands of signatures.

Meta Is Spending How Much?

The sad news of Echo VR broke within days of a Meta earnings call resulting in big stock gains for the company, which has been struggling to impress investors. The call included the news that the company is reportedly spending around a billion dollars per month on the metaverse. The company also beat an anti-trust challenge from the FTC that would have prevented it from buying yet another VR startup.

Zuckerberg often uses big expense numbers as a way to show how dedicated he is to a project. The tactic sometimes works, but sometimes frightens investors and the general industry. Saying that he’s spending a billion dollars a month has a more tragic ring to it given recent layoffs and the more recent closing of a seemingly successful gaming venture all as revenue falls for a third straight quarter.

News in Brief