Skip to main content

Meta will let Horizon creators sell virtual items

Meta will let Horizon creators sell virtual items

/

Horizon Worlds will take a 25 percent cut of any sale after app store fees

Share this story

Horizon Worlds is testing some monetization options.
Horizon Worlds is testing some monetization options.
Image: Meta

Meta is testing new features to let creators make money within Horizon Worlds, the company’s social metaverse platform for Quest VR headsets that is soon coming to mobile phones and possibly game consoles.

Most notably, a “handful” of Horizon creators will be able to sell virtual items and effects in the worlds they create for others to explore. The idea is that creators can sell everything from access to a VIP section of their world to virtual items like jewelry or a special basketball, according to Meaghan Fitzgerald, the product marketing director for Horizon. Participants in the US will also be able to earn money from a $10 million creator fund Meta recently set up to reward creators with the most engaging worlds.

With this test of “in-world purchases,” Meta is following in the footsteps of other 3D social platforms like Roblox and Rec Room, which both let creators sell items that they make. Roblox has built a huge business from this model, while Rec Room is growing quickly and prioritizing creator monetization as well.

An in-world purchase notification.
An in-world purchase notification.
Image: Meta

Meta will be taking a cut of what creators sell, though exactly what that take can be is a bit complex. For Horizon purchases, Meta is taking a 25 percent cut of the percentage that’s left after a platform fee. For platforms with a 30 percent fee, like Meta’s own Quest Store for VR titles, the creator will be left with a little over half of the sale price (the math there being that Meta is taking 25 percent of 70 percent).

“We think it’s a pretty competitive rate in the market.”

“We think it’s a pretty competitive rate in the market,” Vivek Sharma, Meta’s VP of Horizon, tells The Verge, adding that “We believe in the other platforms being able to have their share.” (Even still, Meta has repeatedly called out Apple’s 30 percent take rate as being too aggressive for the iPhone ecosystem and intentionally lowered its rate on mobile for certain in-app purchases.)

Horizon currently doesn’t have advertising beyond a recent Wendy’s-themed world cringely referred to as “Wendyverse.” While the focus is on monetization for creators now, ads “may be an area we want to explore in the future,” says Fitzgerald.

Meta is also rolling out a “goal-oriented bonus program” to encourage creators to use its tools and build out their worlds. These bonuses will not be subject to fees and will be paid in full. They are determined largely based on the engagement a creator’s world receives, according to Sharma.

Creators using in-world purchases and taking creator bonuses will be required to abide by the company’s VR conduct policy and prohibited content policy for Horizon Worlds. Fitzgerald says that creators who don’t follow those rules will be removed from the program.

The Verge reported in February that Horizon Worlds hit 300,000 monthly users in VR during its first few months of availability, and the company has publicly announced that 10,000 worlds had been created. Meta didn’t have an update to share on usage numbers, but Sharma did touch on plans for expansion. The company is planning to bring Horizon Worlds to mobile phones later this year and is in “early discussions” about being on game consoles, Sharma says.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed 30 minutes ago Midjourneys

R
External Link
Russell Brandom30 minutes ago
Oracle will pay $23 million to settle foreign bribery charges.

The SEC alleges that Oracle used a slush fund to bribe officials in India, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. This behavior is sadly common among software companies doing business overseas, and it’s not unique to Oracle. In March, a former Microsoft executive claimed the company spent as much as $200 million a year in bribes for foreign officials.


E
External Link
Emma RothTwo hours ago
Celsius’ CEO is out.

Alex Mashinsky, the head of the bankrupt crypto lending firm Celsius, announced his resignation today, but not after patting himself on the back for working “tirelessly to help the company.”

In Mashinsky’s eyes, I guess that means designing “Unbankrupt yourself” t-shirts on Cafepress and then selling them to a user base that just had their funds vaporized.

At least customers of the embattled Voyager Digital crypto firm are in slightly better shape, as the Sam Bankman-Fried-owned FTX just bought out the company’s assets.


M
Twitter
Mary Beth Griggs2:46 PM UTC
NASA’s SLS rocket is secure as Hurricane Ian barrels towards Florida.

The rocket — and the Orion spacecraft on top — are now back inside the massive Vehicle Assembly Building. Facing menacing forecasts, NASA decided to roll it away from the launchpad yesterday.


A
External Link
Andrew J. Hawkins1:30 PM UTC
Harley-Davidson’s electric motorcycle brand is about to go public via SPAC

LiveWire has completed its merger with a blank-check company and will make its debut on the New York Stock Exchange today. Harley-Davison CEO Jochen Zeitz called it “a proud and exciting milestone for LiveWire towards its ambition to become the most desirable electric motorcycle brand in the world.” Hopefully it also manages to avoid the cash crunch of other EV SPACs, like Canoo, Arrival, Faraday Future, and Lordstown.


A
The Verge
Andrew Webster1:06 PM UTC
“There’s an endless array of drama going on surrounding Twitch right now.”

That’s Ryan Morrison, CEO of Evolved Talent Agency, which represents some of the biggest streamers around. And he’s right — as you can read in this investigation from my colleague Ash Parrish, who looked into just what’s going on with Amazon’s livestreaming service.


R
The Verge
Richard Lawler12:59 PM UTC
Green light.

NASA’s spacecraft crashed, and everyone is very happy about it.

Otherwise, Mitchell Clark is kicking off the day with a deeper look at Dish Network’s definitely-real 5G wireless service , and Walmart’s metaverse vision in Roblox is not looking good at all.


J
External Link
Jess Weatherbed11:49 AM UTC
Won’t anyone think of the billionaires?

Forbes reports that rising inflation and falling stock prices have collectively cost members of the Forbes 400 US rich list $500 billion in 2022 with tech tycoons suffering the biggest losses.

Jeff Bezos (worth $151 billion) lost $50 billion, Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin (worth a collective $182b) lost almost $60b, Mark Zuckerberg (worth $57.7b) lost $76.8b, and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey (worth $4.5b) lost $10.4b. Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer (worth $83b) lost $13.5b while his ex-boss Bill Gates (worth $106b) lost $28b, albeit $20b of that via charity donations.


T
Thomas Ricker6:45 AM UTC
Check out this delightful DART Easter egg.

Just Google for “NASA DART.” You’re welcome.