When Facebook rebranded to Meta Platforms Inc and laid out a new vision for the future of the company focused on the metaverse, many were concerned that the costs would be too high.
Meta Platforms is currently manufacturing the Oculus VR headset that involves virtual reality in video games giving the consumer a different gaming console experience.
Although 2023 has been dubbed the “year of efficiency” for the Facebook parent, it turns out Meta is luring in VR employees with outrageous salaries.
According to a Washington Post report citing people familiar with the matter, Meta is paying programmers capable of creating virtual reality-related tech abnormally high amounts ranging from $600,000 to nearly $1 million annually.
Meta is paying “significantly more” than most other gaming companies, according to Patrick McAdams, CEO of Andiamo, a data-driven tech recruiting firm.
“It’s not an exaggeration to say that their total compensation is double or more than double of what you’ll get at a large gaming company,” McAdams said.
Meta spent approximately $10 billion on its metaverse build out in 2021 and another $15.9 billion for its Reality Labs division last year. The metaverse-focused business lost about $19 billion over the last two years.
It appears a significant portion of its metaverse and VR spending is going toward offering eye-popping pay packages to programmers. The report indicates that Meta is willing to pay “unusually high salaries” in order to get the best developers to work for the company instead of for competitors.
A former recruiter for the Mark Zuckerberg-led company told the Washington Post that there usually wasn’t much competition on the offers they made because they would “pay way above market rate” for several roles.
Of all the VR developers that were offered jobs at Meta over the last nine months, the average compensation was nearly $540,000. For comparison, Apple Inc’s highest pay packages for VR developers were a little below $500,000 and Alphabet Inc reportedly paid its top-tier developers approximately $440,000.
Meta is trying to beat the competition by hiring the best talent, but competition continues to increase. Sony Group Corp just released its PlayStation VR2 in February, and Apple’s long-awaited VR headset is expected to be unveiled this year.
One executive from a smaller gaming company said he was unable to hire a senior developer last year because Meta had offered the candidate $800,000 per year with a performance bonus that could see total compensation rise to about $1 million.
“This candidate was a senior [developer who didn’t have] super unique experience [or] skills. Facebook was doing pretty wild stuff a year ago,” the executive reportedly said.
Produced in association with Benzinga