Three years ago, the paper exposed the original plan of FB Metaverse: It is estimated that 100 million hardware units will be sold within four years.


  • In 2018, Oculus executive Jason Rubin wrote a 50-page document called “Meta Universe” and sent it to Facebook executives and board members.
  • In this document, Rubin described in detail Facebook’s initial plan to occupy the VR market with a product that can exclude any future competition.
  • Rubin predicts that in ten years the company’s Metaverse hardware sales will reach 100 million units, of which 50% are Oculus branded or licensed products.
  • But Rubin now admits that the meta universe cannot be built within four years, and Meta alone cannot succeed. Zuckerberg believes that it will take 5 to 10 years for the meta universe to become mainstream.

Tencent Technology News, October 31, in June 2018, Oculus executive Jason Rubin (Jason Rubin) sent to Facebook board member Marc Andreessen (Marc Andreessen) the subject of “metaverse” (the Metaverse) )email of.

In this 50-page document, Rubin outlined Facebook’s strategy to build a meta-universe. He wrote in the first slide: “We believe that to break the consumer’s indifference to virtual reality (VR), The correct way is to provide them with what they expect and want, that is, the meta universe.”

Three years ago, the paper exposed the original plan of FB Metaverse: It is estimated that 100 million hardware units will be sold within four years.

In the illustration taken on October 28, 2021, many toy figures appeared in front of Facebook’s new name Meta logo

This document, sent three years ago, laid the foundation for Meta’s future ambitions. On Thursday, US local time, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (Mark Zuckerberg) conducted a one-hour presentation and finally announced the new company name. This presentation aims to portray a virtual world that is completely different from the real world. Facebook is facing a steady stream of negative news that is related to the addictive nature of its social media products.

Zuckerberg told the audience during the presentation that the company sees Metaverse as the next technological frontier, where people will live, work and play. But he admitted that it will take 5 to 10 years for Metaverse to become mainstream. Just a few days ago, the company announced in its financial report that starting from the fourth quarter, its hardware unit Reality Labs will become an independent financial performance department.

The documents Rubin sent to Anderson in 2018 now look more like the first draft of history. Inside, imagine that users are floating in a digital world full of virtual advertisements, and there are many virtual goods that people buy. They will marry virtual people and spend as little time as possible in the so-called “Meatverse”. “The physical world” refers to the real world, because human beings are flesh and blood. Rubin used 12 times “shocking and awe-inspiring” to describe the experience he wanted.

Three years ago, the paper exposed the original plan of FB Metaverse: It is estimated that 100 million hardware units will be sold within four years.

Mark Anderson, partner of Andreessen Horowitz, a well-known venture capital firm in Silicon Valley

Anderson is one of the key recipients chosen by Rubin, not only because he has been a member of Facebook’s board of directors since 2008, but also because he has a huge influence in this particular field. Through the famous Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, Andreessen was an early investor in Oculus, and also invested in Roblox , a children-oriented game platform , which focuses on building its own meta-universe.

Rubin also sent the document to Facebook’s hardware department head Andrew Bosworth (Andrew “Boz” Bosworth) and virtual reality department vice president Hugo Barra (Hugo Barra). Bosworth was promoted to Chief Technology Officer in July this year (starting to perform his duties next year). The person familiar with the disclosure of the document was not authorized to talk about it, but Rubin confirmed its validity in an interview on Friday.

The headline of the first part of Rubin’s release document reads: “Meta universe may be an area where we will lose.” He went on to say that Facebook began to consider the concept of meta universe as a way to attract ordinary consumers, because VR It has not been widely welcomed.

The document shows that Facebook acquired Oculus for US$2 billion in 2014. As of June 2018, the company’s VR headset has accumulated 250,000 monthly active players. Rubin wrote that despite investing hundreds of millions of dollars in “early users and pioneers,” these devices have not been popular with non-hardcore players. ” Ordinary consumers are waiting for the day when VR is “fully mature” . 

Rubin wrote: ” We believe that’full maturity’ refers to the meta universe . Only with such a large-scale release can it attract the attention of VR doubters and potential users of VR in the future.”

Rubin’s current title in Meta is Vice President of Metaverse Content. He said that his file is widely read, but it is not the only one that has received attention. Rubin said on Friday: “At that time, many people had ideas about the metaverse. Various documents were filled with various opinions. I want to express my ideas. This is what we innovated at Facebook. The way. There are a lot of ideas, a lot of people, and then they get excited. I hope there are some useful things in them.”

“We must act first”

Rubin predicted in the document that the meta-universe project may be completed within 4 years, and that Facebook can complete it alone. But he now realizes that it will take more time and Meta will have to work with a wide range of companies instead of owning and controlling the entire system. He said: “This is another way for us to expand our thinking. We have to cooperate with others, and we have to take many steps because it will take a long time.”

Rubin said when writing this document that he was not sure how much time Facebook had. He only knows that he must “break a way out” and it is vital to stand out from the competition. He wrote: “The first metaverse to gain true attraction is also likely to be the last. We must first take action to become bigger and stronger, otherwise we may become one of those suitors. “

He also wrote that Facebook may effectively drive competitors such as Google, Apple, Sony, HTC and Valve out of the VR market. He also added that Sony is focusing on PlayStation 5, HTC is dissatisfied with its potential hardware partners, and Facebook has invested more than Steam developer Valve. The document said: “Google and Apple do not yet exist in the VR field. Daydream is a joke.” He was referring to the VR platform that Google terminated its operations a year after its release.

Rubin was not keen on cooperation at the time. He said in the document that it is meaningless to work closely with other potential competitors, because Facebook should be the place where all users get a virtual experience. Rubin wrote: “Let us not build the meta-universe with plans to help other platforms accumulate and retain consumers. Let us create the meta-universe ourselves to prevent competitors from entering the VR industry in a meaningful way.”

Rubin emphasized on Friday that Meta has abandoned this approach, and the plan is to allow Metaverse to interoperate and remain open, rather than being “limited to one company.”

A Meta spokesperson said in an email statement that technology has been evolving since 2018, and the focus at the time was mainly on VR. The company said it has always expected competition from Microsoft, Google, Apple, Sony, Roblox and many other companies in the market. The spokesperson also said: “What is certain is: investing in and building products that consumers want is the key to success; we cannot build the metaverse alone; cooperation with developers, creators and experts is essential.”

Priya’s virtual marriage

In one of the chapters of the document, Rubin outlines a scene where the protagonist is a fictitious user named Priya who visits the meta universe. Priya enters a virtual city with bowling alleys, shops, theaters and Facebook pavilions. The latter is described as the “largest building” and occupies a prominent place in the square almost like a church.

Priya can interact with other people and use meta universe currency to buy new hairstyles for her avatar. Priya eventually met another user, who looked like a green ogre with warts. But they finally got married.

Rubin wrote: ” Priya can work, eat, socialize and sleep in the meta-universe, and her entertainment time is more and more completed in a virtual way, thanks to the integration of Netflix, Facebook, Instagram and other meta-universes. “

Rubin said that under this hypothetical situation, ten years later, the company’s Meta universe hardware sales will reach 100 million units, of which 50% are Oculus brand or licensed products, and the rest will come from other hardware manufacturers.

Three years ago, the paper exposed the original plan of FB Metaverse: It is estimated that 100 million hardware units will be sold within four years.

A screenshot released on October 28, 2021 shows that Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced at the virtual and augmented reality conference that Facebook was renamed Meta. The picture shows him fencing with an Olympic gold medalist fencer in the meta universe.

In 20 years, the time people spend on the metaverse can be comparable to “the time spent watching TV in the 1990s and using Facebook in recent years.” For Facebook, the most important thing is that “after deducting developer expenditures, net income will reach billions of dollars each year.” These revenues will come from the sale of virtual real estate, hats, weapons and status symbols.

Facebook’s revenue will also come from advertising, which is the market the company knows best. Rubin envisions that Coca-Cola will pay for the best location in the pavilion, Ford will pay for its virtual car, Procter & Gamble will promote its brand on digital billboards, and Gucci can open a virtual store. Comcast will invest in the purchase of “a huge billboard with the words’Comcast: Make MetaSpeed ​​better!'”

Rubin wrote: “If the metaverse is where people spend their time, then it is where the real economy wants to go. Our goal is to bring the metaverse to this stage. In short, it doesn’t look like a Facebook product. .”

Considering this deep sense of immersion, Rubin estimates that the benefits of 100 million cosmic users may be more than the benefits of 1 billion Facebook users. He wrote: “I may log on to Facebook several times a day, but I will live and work in the metaverse, and may prefer the time spent in the metaverse instead of working day after day.”

Rubin wrote that the metaverse must be “frightening” if it is to be successful . In other words, it must have bold ambitions, be filled with thousands of hours of gaming experience, and be able to change people’s lives, so that Facebook engineers are afraid of the problems they face.

He wrote: “If the meta-universe that we are building has not scared us away, then it is not the meta-universe that we should build, nor is it what the client wants, so it has no meaning. Everything else is Mini universe.”

Rubin said that building all this and reaching the necessary customer base requires more than internal resources. He said that Facebook needs a game studio with a team of more than 100 people to produce massively multiplayer online games.

He wrote: “One thing is absolutely clear: no team within Facebook has such cohesion and experience, can launch technically challenging, awesome large-scale games or interactive products, can create virtual cities.” Refers to Facebook’s digital world goals, ” for these reasons, we will need to make acquisitions .”

Rubin believes that Insomniac Games and Gearbox Software are potential targets. And studios like Blizzard and Rockstar are too large, too profitable, and too focused on their own game world, and are not suitable for acquisition. Rubin finally recommended “Lone Echo” (Lone Echo) studio Ready at Dawn. Facebook reached the deal in June 2020.

Laying the foundation for the future

Rubin wrote that in addition to the technical achievements of Metaverse, the release of products will also be crucial, requiring “manufacturing shock . ” If Zuckerberg is not ready for this moment, he should avoid placing a slide that says “Welcome to Metaverse” behind him when he takes the stage at the conference.

Three years ago, the paper exposed the original plan of FB Metaverse: It is estimated that 100 million hardware units will be sold within four years.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivered a speech at the virtual Facebook Connect event. The company announced the change of its name to Meta on October 28, 2021 in New York, USA

Rubin wrote: “If we reveal every step of our roadmap because we want to complete the theme meeting, then the competition will always be one step behind. We don’t want to do that. Let us wait until a veritable meta-universe emerges. “However, Zuckerberg did not fully follow this advice. His speech on Thursday was bold, but the world he portrayed was far from ready for the consumer experience.

This demo is similar to the animation launched by Pixar, showing the software that the company hopes to develop. It is full of users who hang out and exercise with their avatars or cartoon avatars. Zuckerberg admitted that this technology still has a long way to go, and it may take ten years.

Some people believe that Facebook needs to change the topic and distract the public. Previously, many internal documents disclosed by Facebook’s “whistleblower” brought many destructive reports.

Rubin has a different interpretation of this. He said the company now knows that in order to achieve its arduous mission, it needs to involve others and bid farewell to the “walled garden” tradition. He said in an interview: “This is a long journey. We will work with many different companies. In this case, you can no longer keep secrets for too long.”

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