Meta is working on a web-based version of its Horizon Worlds social virtual reality platform, company 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 are 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 the 47.5% reduction in Meta sales in Horizon Worlds. The 47.5% figure includes a 30% platform fee for purchases made through Meta’s Quest Store. Bosworth tweeted that when the web version of Horizon Worlds launches, the seller’s fee will be 25% as it avoids the Quest Store’s 30% discount. He noted that this percentage is “a much lower rate compared to other similar world-building platforms”.
This means that if you were to buy a digital item in the web version of Horizon Worlds, the designer you buy from would get a larger share of the sale than if you were to make the same purchase in the VR version.
“We are achieving our goal of ensuring developers have a path to true financial success on our platform,” Bosworth said in a tweet. “We’re just getting started, there’s still a lot of work to do, and we continue to work closely with our creators and developers to enable them to generate meaningful revenue.”
Bosworth didn’t say more about the web-based version of the virtual world or reveal any details about how it will work or when it will be released. The news comes as The Verge reported a few days ago that Meta is also working on 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 entice more people to join Horizon Worlds by avoiding the need for a Quest VR headset. But, there is 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 in the physical world, it’s unclear how a web version and Horizon Worlds mobile would fit. in this view.
Bosworth’s comments come days after Meta revealed it was testing a feature that will allow creators to sell virtual items and effects in their worlds. The new feature is rolling out to a small group of creators to begin with and marks an important next step in the company’s mission to lay the foundation for virtual reality social networking. All users with access to Horizon Worlds will be able to make these purchases in the world. Meta is also starting to test a Horizon Worlds Creator Bonus program for participants in the United States.
Horizon Worlds was opened to all users over the age of 18 in the United States and Canada in December 2021 after the platform was first announced in 2019.