Tencent “shares” Metaverse, it is rumored that it has established an XR department with a team of more than 300 people.
Wise things on June 21, according to Reuters reports, three people familiar with the matter said that Tencent announced to employees on Monday the formal establishment of an extended reality (XR) unit , betting on the concept of the Metaverse of virtual worlds. Tencent declined to comment.
Extended reality (XR) is a combination of real and virtual through a computer to create a virtual environment that can interact with humans and machines. It is also a general term for immersive technologies such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR). These technologies are seen as the main building blocks of the Metaverse world.
Tencent’s XR unit was set up earlier this year but has been kept under wraps, three sources said. The unit, tasked with building an XR business including software and hardware for Tencent, will be led by Shen Li, vice president of Tencent Games, and become part of Tencent’s Interactive Entertainment Group (IEG).
And if Tencent’s XR department starts to advance the XR hardware project, it will mark Tencent’s rare foray into the hardware field.
Internally, the XR unit is seen as a “passion project” for Tencent founder, chairman and CEO Ma Huateng, one of the sources said.
Tencent’s XR unit is expected to have more than 300 employees, two sources said. However, they also mentioned that the recruitment plan is still uncertain, and Tencent will adjust the number of employees in the department based on performance.
In February of this year, according to Sina Technology, Tencent launched an XR business, and recently started recruiting internally (that is, internal cross-department transfer). The business focuses on the layout of the full-link XR ecosystem, including XR equipment on the hardware side, perception and interaction technology on the software side, and content and developer ecology on the content and industry sides.
According to the report, Tencent’s internal live water covers the three major directions of content ecology, operation, and technology research and development , and has opened more than 40 positions:
In terms of content ecology, Tencent will set up an XR game studio and recruit studio leaders in internal living water;
In terms of operation, the internal living water provides job applications in functional areas such as store products, ecological operations, business cooperation and industrial investment cooperation;
In terms of technology research and development, there are the most open positions, covering software, algorithm, hardware, optics, structure and quality engineer positions.
The introduction of the new XR team is in stark contrast to the layoffs in other parts of Tencent. Tencent has been implementing cost control measures, scaling back non-core businesses and slowing hiring.
Publicly, Tencent has remained largely silent on its Metaverse plans. In November, Tencent told analysts that it had many “technical and capability building blocks” to approach the Metaverse opportunity, but gave no details.
However, Tencent does not often talk about the concept of “Metaverse” in public. In contrast, they prefer to propose a “full-real Internet ” from the perspective of digital-real integration.
“An exciting opportunity is coming. The mobile Internet has been developed for ten years and is about to usher in the next wave of upgrades, which we call the true Internet.” Ma Huateng wrote in Tencent’s 2020 special issue “Three Views”.
In his view, whether it is from the virtual to the real, or from the real to the virtual, he is committed to helping users achieve a more realistic experience. “I believe that another major reshuffle is about to begin. Just like the transformation of the mobile Internet, those who can’t get on the boat will gradually fall behind.”
In January this year, the “Metaverse 2022 – Accumulated Power” report released by Peking University HSBC Business School and Essence Securities showed that Tencent has the superior conditions to deploy the Metaverse, through the combination of capital (acquisition & investment) + traffic (social platform) Fist, the future will explore and develop the Metaverse like building blocks.
According to the six major components of the Metaverse research framework, Tencent’s underlying architecture (engine Unreal Engine), back-end infrastructure (cloud services, big data centers), content and scenarios (various types of content products and mature social network interconnection ecology) These three directions are all focused on the layout.
Previously, Tencent’s Robotics X laboratory and F1 studio were involved in the related business scope of the Metaverse, of which F1 studio mainly developed games for the next generation of Internet.
With the popularity of the Metaverse concept, domestic and foreign technology giants and well-known investors have successively participated in the construction of the Metaverse world.
Foreign Facebook directly changed its name to Meta, Microsoft, Disney and other companies are also promoting their own Metaverse strategies, Qualcomm established the European XR laboratory to expand its investment in XR and the Metaverse; domestic ByteDance acquired VR hardware company Pico, Baidu, NetEase and others are developing the Metaverse platform.
▲Since 2021, global technology giants have actively deployed the Metaverse (Source: “Metaverse 2022 – Accumulated Power” report)
As Tencent accelerates its layout, the arms race in the Metaverse era will become more intense.
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