Tencent opens 'extended reality' unit to explore metaverse projects

The new unit will be tasked with building up the software and hardware for Tencent's overall extended reality business.

Image via IC Photo

As various companies pour more investment and research into metaverse and VR/AR concepts, Chinese gaming giant Tencent appears to also be getting on board with a sizeable move into the market. The company has just announced official establishment of an “extended reality” unit that will be in charge of pursuing and developing hardware and software needs in relation to metaverse projects.

Tencent formally announced the formation of its extended reality unit recently, as reported by Reuters. According to the announcement, the company is going to have around 300 employees opening up the unit under the leadership of Tencent Games Global's Chief Technology Officer Li Shen. It will be a subdepartment of Tencent’s Interactive Entertainment business group and be in charge of building up the company’s hardware and software for use specifically in metaverse projects. Apparently, the unit was being quietly built up since earlier in 2021. However, the 300-employee count may remain fluid as the company goes through cost-cutting and slowed hiring based on performance.

Tencent's previous VR and metaverse aspirations have included making a VR version of the WeChat app. [Image by supernam / 123RF]
Tencent's previous VR and metaverse aspirations have included making a VR version of the WeChat app. [Image by supernam / 123RF]

Tencent’s move to establish this new extended reality unit follows on a long period of growing interest in metaverse software and hardware development. Where Facebook first kicked off craze for the metaverse (even going as far as to change its company name to Meta), many other groups have also shared interest, including the likes of Sega and Microsoft. There have also been efforts to develop new hardware for metaverse concepts, including a new VR/AR headset from Meta which is still in development and has not been revealed yet.

As one of the most large-scale gaming companies in the world, Tencent has every reason to be part of the metaverse craze, but it looks like the company’s investment in said trend is official. As we await further updates on this new department, stay tuned for more details right here at Shacknews.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at tj.denzer@shacknews.com and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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