Meta is working on a web version of its social virtual reality Horizon Worlds platform, the company’s CTO Andrew “Boz” Bosworth revealed in a tweet. The expansion would allow users to try out Horizon Worlds without having to use Quest VR headsets, which is currently the only way to access the virtual world.
Bosworth’s tweet about the web version of the platform was part of a thread defending Meta’s 47.5% cut of sales in Horizon Worlds. The 47.5% figure includes a platform fee of 30% for purchases made through Meta’s Quest Store. Bosworth tweeted that when the web version of Horizon Worlds launches, the fee for sales would be 25% because it would avoid the Quest Store’s 30% cut. He noted that this percentage is “a much lower rate compared to other similar world-building platforms.”
This means that if you were to purchase a digital item in the web version of Horizon Worlds, the designer you’re buying from would get a larger portion of the sale than if you were to make the same purchase in the VR version.
“We’re making good on our goal to ensure that developers have a path to real financial success on our platform,” Bosworth said in a tweet. “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.”
Bosworth didn’t say more about the web version of the virtual world or reveal any details about how it would work or when it may be released. The news comes as The Verge reported a few days ago that Meta is also working on a bringing Horizon Worlds to mobile phones later this year.
Meta’s plans to launch web and mobile versions of its virtual world could be seen as a way for the company to get more people to join Horizon Worlds by avoiding the need for a Quest VR headset. But, there’s also the question of whether a web and mobile version of the platform would defeat the purpose of Meta’s vision of the metaverse. Considering Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg sees the metaverse as a “successor to the mobile internet,” where you’ll be able to do things you can’t do in the physical world, it’s unclear how a web and mobile version of Horizon Worlds would fit into this vision.
Bosworth’s comments come a few days after Meta revealed that it’s testing a feature that will let creators sell virtual items and effects within their worlds. The new feature is rolling out to a small group of creators to start, and marks a significant next step in the company’s mission of building the foundation of virtual reality social networking. All users with access to Horizon Worlds will be able to make these in-world purchases. Meta is also beginning to test a Horizon Worlds Creator Bonus program for participants in the U.S.
Horizon Worlds opened up to all users over 18 years old in the U.S. and Canada in December 2021 after the platform was first announced in 2019.