Meta is shutting down the Metaverse platform it recently bought
Meta is shutting down Crayta on March 3, 2023, after purchasing the DIY gaming platform less than two years ago, and user content will not be archived.
Unit 2 Games recently broke the bad news to the Crayta community that the game-building platform will be shutting down next month, making it urgent for creators to save any images and ideas that they want to use for new games. Meta purchased Unit 2 in 2021 and game development never stopped.
With so much time and effort invested, players expressed sadness in response to the Twitter announcement. If you've invested time in the platform, you need to make screen recordings of your favorite games and worlds to preserve those memories and share them with others. It's sad to see creative effort wasted and that is always a risk with world-building games.
After 2.5 years of fun and creativity, we’re sad to announce the closure of Crayta on all platforms, from 4pm GMT (8am PT) on Friday March 3rd 2023. Read our announcement & FAQs below.
Thank you, Craytans – we love you. ❤️
— Crayta 🎓🧟♀️ (@CraytaGame) February 1, 2023
It has become quite common for large corporations to buy out small developers only to close operations and shift focus to in-house projects. This anti-competitive behavior leads to government regulators getting involved and Meta has been challenged in this regard before. In this case, however, Meta wasn't entirely to blame.
Meta didn't kill Crayta
Crayta simply might not have been popular enough to sustain ongoing development. In a Medium post, Unit 2 explained that the platform's recent growth was insufficient to continue. With 50 developers working on the game, the cost of maintenance would be higher than many games.
Crayta's YouTube channel will remain for a limited period, but Unit 2 suggests that creators record any images and videos that they want to reference in the future. Meta recently said that 2023 would be its year of efficiency and that means improving or cutting projects that aren't delivering the best results.
Crayta first launched on Stadia in 2020. Google had big plans for Stadia, its cloud gaming service, and planned to incorporate VR and AR eventually. Unfortunately, Stadia ended operation recently, but the two closures are unrelated since Crayta is owned by Meta.
In March of 2021, Crayta became available on the Epic Games Store and three months later the company was bought by Facebook Gaming (now Meta) on June 4, 2021. That means it will only have survived for one year and 9 months at Meta.
Meta didn't help either
VR is a primary focus for Meta and Horizon Worlds also offers game-creation tools; however, the scripting is not as powerful as Crayta's. There were plans to merge the two platforms, bringing Crayta into VR, but that didn't happen soon enough.
Facebook Gaming requires a Facebook account, adding a barrier to entry. Meta had little incentive to promote Crayta on Stadia or Epic Games, but a stronger marketing effort might have helped spread the word about this free, world-building platform.
Unfortunately, there is no way to export environments, objects, or other game components that exist in Crayta. This means screenshots and screen recordings are the only way to save the worlds and games that you've created. The talented Unit 2 team will continue to develop for Meta and will share more of its plans soon. For more information, reach out to the Crayta Discord or contact Crayta support.
The Crayta team ended with a thank you to the community and expressed pride in what had been accomplished by all.