Meta is working on a Web version of its Horizon Worlds social metaverse platform, an executive teased on Thursday. The new development will expand the platform and take it beyond its existing form that works only with Quest VR headsets. Although the expansion is expected to make the virtual experience bigger and more accessible to people, Meta is facing criticism for its move to take a massive 47.5 percent cut from transactions taking place in the virtual world. This would, though, be significantly lower in case of the Web version.
In a thread on Twitter, Meta CTO Andrew ‘Boz’ Bosworth revealed the plans to launch the Web version of Horizon Worlds. The executive stated that for the Web version, Meta would take a cut of 25 percent — lower than the 47.5 percent cut it has planned to take from creators selling items in Horizon to users accessing the virtual world through a Quest VR headset.
Other details about the Web version of Horizon Worlds are yet to be revealed. However, Meta VP of Horizon Vivek Sharma recently confirmed plans to bring the virtual world to mobile phones later this year in an interview with The Verge. Sharma also indicated “early discussions” about launching the experience to game consoles.
The thread posted by Boz was essentially aimed at defending the commission rate that the executive claimed is similar to the cuts being charged by competitive platforms including Roblox and YouTube.
Boz clarified in response to a query that the 47.5 percent commission is the total charge that Meta would take from creators in case the “underneath” platform takes a 30 percent cut, such as Apple’s App Store or the Google Play Store. The commission rate will, however, be at 25 percent if the purchases are coming directly via the Horizon platform.
“It’s early days, there is still a lot of work to be done and we continue to partner closely with our creators and developers to enable them to earn meaningful revenue,” Boz said.
Earlier this week, Meta announced its plans to charge 47.5 percent on sales of digital assets and experiences that creators will offer through Horizon Worlds. That announcement raised eyebrows as Meta has so far been a prominent critic of Apple’s decision to charge a 30 percent cut for purchases coming from the App Store.
Apple also took a dig at Meta for its decision to take heavy commissions from creators joining its virtual world.
“Meta has repeatedly taken aim at Apple for charging developers a 30 percent commission for in-app purchases in the App Store — and have used small businesses and creators as a scapegoat at every turn,” Apple spokesperson Fred Sainz said in a statement to MarketWatch.
“Now — Meta seeks to charge those same creators significantly more than any other platform. [Meta’s] announcement lays bare Meta’s hypocrisy. It goes to show that while they seek to use Apple’s platform for free, they happily take from the creators and small businesses that use their own.”
In response to Apple’s take, Boz said that Meta was taking a “different approach” and making its Quest devices “available to more people.”
Meta has just started testing the sale of virtual goods in Horizon Worlds. The experience is so far limited to users aged above 18 in the US and Canada. It is, therefore, quite an early stage to determine how Meta would be able to cater to creators on its platform and please them over time.