Horizon Worlds has barely launched and Meta is already opening up monetisation opportunities for creators. As The Verge explains:
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.
Fair enough, right? But it’s deal for creators that raised eyebrows. The Verge again:
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).
In other words, Meta is double-dipping - taking a platform fee and
a cut of the sale itself. Casey Newton gave an example of what that means, in his Platformer newsletter
If you’re a creator selling $10 worth of virtual goods through the Quest, Meta’s Oculus store will keep $3, and Horizon will keep 25 percent of the remaining purchase — in this case, another $1.75. That leaves the creator with $5.25.
You can argue that this is just two different business units within Meta taking their fair cut of a sale, but for a company that has taken so much effort lately to present itself as creator-friendly, taking so much of a creator’s cash feels at best poorly thought-through. Apple took the opportunity to call out the hypocrisy
, which didn’t impress
Meta’s Andrew ‘Boz’ Bosworth. Boz also said a future web-based version
of Horizon Worlds would take a much smaller cut.
But to be generous, if Meta is to make mistakes in the creator economy, a nascent platform with a comparatively small audience is the place to do it.