Mark Zuckerberg, Meta’s CEO and co-founder, proudly shared on Facebook a screenshot from Horizon Worlds, celebrating that the video game was now available in Spain and France.

But instead of hyping up his ambitious investment, it only led to him being roasted over how terrible it looked.

Source: Facebook
Source: Facebook

The image he shared was of his own Horizon Worlds avatar – an ugly plastic-looking doll in front of a barren landscape with a miniature Eiffel Tower and Sagrada Familia. His avatar doesn’t even show any discernible positive emotion.

Horizon Worlds is headlining Meta’s investment into the so-called “metaverse”, and it consists of a virtual reality online video game where players create avatars of themselves and can visit other players and locations in real-time in VR. Players can also create their own worlds by using the available creative tools, all of which can be explored in virtual reality. The VR headset tracking data is used to animate the players’ heads and hands in real time based on their movement.

Meta is going all-in with the metaverse idea and so far they have reportedly invested over $10 billion dollars in this technology. With those kinds of numbers and how dominant Meta is in the world of social media, it’s genuinely surprising that Zuckerberg thought people would be excited about what he showed.

Many have noted that the graphical fidelity shown in the first image is akin to a Nintendo 64 game (a console released in 1996) at worst or a PS2 at best (released in 2000).

Granted, it’s clear that Horizon Worlds isn’t going for realism, and that VR games typically have simpler graphics because they require a lot more processing power to render, but the complete lack of a charming art direction didn’t do him any favors.

A common example is the Nintendo Switch game “Zelda: Breath of the Wild” released in 2017. The Switch has considerably weaker hardware than any other console from the past generation, and Breath of the Wild has simple stylized graphics, but it’s still a beautiful-looking game, considered by many one of the best ever made. The game has a monumental 97 on MetaCritic, an average from 109 critics, making it one of the highest-rated games of all time.

With that in mind, it’s easier to understand why everyone expected more from how Horizon Worlds looks, especially given the amount of money involved and how much Zuckerberg hyped up his vision a few months ago. Photorealism isn’t viable in VR and surely no one was expecting as much, but there are tons of mobile games made by single developers with better art direction and more charm than what Zuckerberg decided to share.

The excuse is that Horizon Worlds is still in a testing phase. It was only available in the US and Canada, and now Spain and France if you’re over 18 years of age, but it’s by invitation-only. And of course, to even enjoy its features, you need an Oculus (Meta’s VR headset), which makes the barrier for entry a bit steep.

After the online roast, Zuckerberg quickly responded saying that graphical upgrades were in the works, and posted another version of his avatar and a few environments that, admittedly, look a lot better.

Source: UploadVR
Source: UploadVR
Source: Twitter
Source: Twitter

He added:

“Major updates to Horizon and avatar graphics coming soon. I'll share more at Connect. Also, I know the photo I posted earlier this week was pretty basic -- it was taken very quickly to celebrate a launch. The graphics in Horizon are capable of much more -- even on headsets -- and Horizon is improving very quickly.”

It remains to be seen what the final form of Horizon Worlds will be, but for now, it’s fairly safe to assume that Zuckerberg will refrain from sharing hastily taken screenshots before more work is done.

Horizon Worlds is also planned to release for mobile devices, where it won’t require the use of a VR headset. No release date has been announced.