Meta is testing new features to help developers monetize Horizon Worlds, the company’s Metaverse social platform for Quest VR headsets, coming soon to mobile phones and possibly gaming consoles.
Most notably, a “handful” of Horizon developers will be able to sell virtual items and effects in the worlds they create for others to explore. According to Meaghan Fitzgerald, Horizon’s product marketing director, developers can sell anything from access to a VIP area of their world to virtual items like jewelry or a special basketball. Participants in the US can also earn money from a $10M Creator Fund that Meta recently set up to reward developers with the most compelling worlds.
With this test of “in-world purchases,” Meta follows in the footsteps of other 3D social platforms like Roblox and Rec Room, both of which To let Creator sell items they make. Roblox built one huge business from this model, while Rec Room is growing rapidly and also prioritizes monetization of creators.
Meta will take some of what the creators sell, although exactly what that can be is a bit complex. For Horizon purchases, Meta takes a 25 percent cut on the percentage left over after a platform fee. For platforms that charge a 30 percent fee, like Meta’s own Quest Store for VR titles, the creator is left with just over half the retail price (the math is Meta takes 25 percent of 70 percent).
“We think it’s a pretty competitive price in the market,” says Vivek Sharma, Vice President of Meta at Horizon The edgeadding, “We believe the other platforms can play their part.” (Nonetheless, Meta has repeatedly called Apple’s 30 percent adoption rate too aggressive for the iPhone ecosystem, and the rate on mobile for certain in- App purchases intentionally lowered.)
Horizon currently has no advertising beyond a current Wendy’s theme world frantically referred to as the “Wendyverse”. While the focus for creators is now on monetization, ads “may be an area we want to explore in the future,” says Fitzgerald.
Meta is also introducing a “goal-based rewards program” to encourage developers to use its tools and build their worlds. These bonuses are fee-free and are paid out in full. They are determined largely on the basis of the commitment that sustains a creator’s world, according to Sharma.
Creators using in-world purchases and accepting creator bonuses must comply with the Company’s VR Conduct Policy and Horizon Worlds Prohibited Content Policy. Fitzgerald says creators who don’t follow these rules will be removed from the program.
The edge reported in February that Horizon Worlds reached 300,000 monthly users in VR in the first few months of availability, and the company has announced this publicly 10,000 worlds were created. Meta didn’t have an update to share usage numbers, but Sharma did address expansion plans. The company plans to bring Horizon Worlds to mobile phones later this year and is in “early talks” about using it on gaming consoles, Sharma says.
https://www.theverge.com/2022/4/11/23020684/meta-horizon-worlds-test-creators-sell-virtual-items-monetization Meta to allow Horizon Worlds creators to sell virtual items