Meta says it plans to connect Horizon Worlds and Crayta in ‘meaningful ways’ which will bring the first inkling of cross-platform interoperability to the company’s metaverse plans.

Meta may be all in on the metaverse, but to date hasn’t done much to actually build one. Sure, the company has Horizon Worlds, which is no doubt a great collaborative creation platform, but it’s an island unto itself with no interoperability outside of its own walls—something which many agree is a requirement for a proper metaverse. But soon, Meta says, it will take its first step—a tiny step—toward an interconnected metaverse.

At the upcoming Meta Connect event next week, the company plans to explain how it will connect its VR creation platform Horizon Worlds to Crayta, another creation platform acquired by Meta last year.

In the session called Building Bridges to the Metaverse, the company reveals that, “[User-generated content] creation platforms Crayta and Meta Horizon Worlds will soon be connected in ways that will demonstrate the potential of a metaverse of experiences with shared values. Leads from both teams will discuss this journey and show how it’s possible for two products on different platforms to connect meaningfully and add value without compromising either of them.”

While we’ll have to wait for the session itself to get more details about how deep this connection will go, another session reveals that one part of the connection will be sharing avatars between platforms.

“This session explains the thinking and problem solving that allowed the [user-generated content] game platform Crayta, to welcome Meta Avatars into its ecosystem. Takeaways include insights into how another platform thinks about avatar appeal, and examples of technical problem solving to allow a user’s avatar to travel between platforms.”

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It isn’t clear if this will be a two-way street (where avatars from either platform can hop onto the other) or only a one-way street (where Meta Avatars can jump into Crayta but not the other way around). It also isn’t clear if there will be anything beyond sharing the same avatar, or if some other parts of users’ digital identities will be able to cross between the platforms, like usernames, control preferences, or in-game points or resources.

Many agree that, like the web, the metaverse should be open and widely interoperable; so while it’s nice nice to see Meta taking its first steps toward connecting otherwise disparate platforms, this is still just one player connecting two closed platforms, with no way for others to be part of the club. In that sense, it will still be a long time yet before we see anything that feels like a proper metaverse.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • It’s nice, but… they’re still two Meta platforms. For the “metaverse”, we need platforms of different vendors to connect, which is much more difficult

    • lynx

      It is actually super easy, barely an inconvenience. What you’re looking for is called a web service. Applications can use single sign-on to authenticate the user then use a token to get user specific items from various services hosted by other games. One might wrap a bunch of web services in another service to create a single api an application can use. None of this is new.

      • Adrian Meredith

        As a web developer I can tell you it’s not that simple but yes to succeed it must follow the same pattern that the early web did.

      • Steve R

        But all of the companies would have to agree to a standard format for storing the data for those user specific items (and be willing to share that data with other companies).

        • lynx

          I doubt too many games would hook into too many services out of complexity. I think it could be a great way for cross promotion however there is no incentive to promote other games. Such a thing would need to be monetized. The next question is how do we want to cross promote games or other applications? Trophies? Keys for unlockable rooms, masks, costumes, weapon skins? Is this a gimmick? How do we add substance to make this appealing? I think simplifying the problem to only sharing goods between a few services might make the idea gain traction.

      • LilBrudda

        web services are tight!

    • Duncan Roberts

      Hard agree on this

    • Mattphoto

      Facebook kind of has a track record with “sign in with Facebook” being mass adopted by many platforms, mostly because it was easy to do so and devs get free analytics. It is used in games, apps, marketplaces and more .It can carry over user information as needed and allowed by the user. It saves time and costs for users and devs. They need that but expanded for the metaverse and the ability to carry over some assets.

      They have their foot in the door more than any other with their experience with Single Sign On.
      It took years for apple to even get their sign on off the ground and they have to force app devs to implement their half-assed SSO that no one uses.

      If anyone, Meta allowing devs to seamlessly integrate into their platforms with ease is more likely than you typically see out of tech companies. They have that going for them at least.

  • sfmike

    The real problem is no one wants to share the imagined metaverse profits that still aren’t there but that remain the only goal in the minds of the tech companies board of directors everywhere. Quarterly profit thinking will doom the metaverse until some alternate financial scheme can be figured out.

  • BananaBreadBoy

    Have no idea what Crayta even is, but at least the avatars look like they have some kind of personality to them.

  • Aleks Streltsov

    Huh… No! — Real road to VR is ONLY on Web site: „The underwater anthropomorphous robot – avatar, or why the underwater robot must have legs“ — Welcome! — For perfect VR we need the special support mechanism (it is my invention):

  • Reason

    I tried Horizons and spent about 30 minutes running around it’s cartoony world listening to screaming children then played a couple of the worst “games” in it that I have ever played in my life. Seriously, try the zombie shooter game. It’s awful.