Facebook will be building its metaverse out of Europe — at least in part. The company announced in a blog post Monday that it will be hiring around 10,000 people from within the EU to fill highly skilled roles working on Horizon Worlds, a 3D virtual play space, over the next five years.
The idea of a metaverse — a computer-generated environment where people can interact with each other using AR, VR and other technologies — is something Facebook has been discussing since it acquired virtual reality headset maker Oculus in 2014. Building out the metaverse is of interest to many large tech companies, with developers comparing it to the internet in terms of openness and interoperability. And just as with the internet, individual companies want to ensure they’re creating their own bespoke experiences to take advantage of it.
Facebook’s metaverse project is still in its early stages of development, but earlier this month the company talked openly about its plans for ato work on building out the project, including building entertainment spaces and games for the Horizon Worlds app.
In its blog post on Monday, Nick Clegg, Facebook’s vice president of global affairs, and Javier Olivan, vice president of central products, said that Europe is an important hub for developing its metaverse because of the region’s talent, as well as its leadership on regulatory issues, including the introduction of the Digital Single Market.
“As we begin the journey of bringing the metaverse to life, the need for highly specialized engineers is one of Facebook’s most pressing priorities,” they said. “We look forward to working with governments across the EU to find the right people and the right markets to take this forward, as part of an upcoming recruitment drive across the region.”