This week Meta announced that it was beginning to test selling tools so that creators can sell things inside of Horizon Worlds and earn real money. Now the company has offered up more detail about how that will work, including the fees creators will pay on earnings made through the platform.

Meta says the goal of its various metaverse initiatives is to one day allow people to “earn a living” from creating virtual goods through its platforms. But for creators to make that happen, they’ll need to contend with hefty fees from the company.

Speaking to Road to VR about the new selling tools being made available to select creators in Horizon Worlds, Meta explained that anything sold in Horizon Worlds would be subject to the same 30% fee the company charges developers selling apps through its VR platform and then an additional 25% fee on top of the remaining amount. The company provided the following example:

“…if a creator sells an item for $1.00, then the Meta Quest Store fee would be $0.30 and the Horizon Platform fee would be $0.17, leaving $0.53 for the Creator before any applicable taxes.”

That’s an effective rate of 47.5% of anything sold on Horizon Worlds to Meta, leaving 52.5% to the creator.

Image courtesy Meta

That’s a pretty hefty take, but not entirely out of line with contemporaries. Roblox, for instance, takes between 30% and 70% of the revenue generated by creators depending upon whether the creator sold the item directly to customers or if the item was sold on the Roblox marketplace or by another party.

These are big fees, no doubt, but creators are getting something in return. Horizon Worlds, for instance, offers up its self-contained collaborative building tools, access to an audience, and handles all hosting and networking costs associated with the things creators build. Whether that’s worth 47.5% of what someone manages to sell on the platform is going to be up to the creator.

The Horizon Worlds fee structure strikes a sharp contrast to the thoughts Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg shared about a theoretical metaverse back at Connect 2021:

The last few years have been humbling for me and our company in a lot of ways. One of the main lessons that I’ve learned is that building products isn’t enough. We also need to help build ecosystems so that millions of people can have a stake in the future, can be rewarded for their work, and benefit as the tide rises, not just as consumers but as creators and developers.

But this period has also been humbling because as big of a company as we are, we’ve also learned what it is like to build for other platforms. And living under their rules has profoundly shaped my views on the tech industry. Most of all, I’ve come to believe that the lack of choice and high fees are stifling innovation, stopping people from building new things, and holding back the entire internet economy.

We’ve tried to take a different approach. We want to serve as many people as possible, which means working to make our services cost less, not more. Our mobile apps are free. Our ads business model is an auction, which guarantees every business the most competitive price possible. We offer our creator and commerce tools either at cost or with modest fees to enable as much creation and commerce as possible.

Meta also clarified some other things about how the selling tools in Horizon Worlds will work. Speaking to Road to VR, the company said that, from the buyer’s standpoint, purchases in Horizon Worlds are handled like anything else on the Quest platform (ie: they use the headset’s account and payment credentials on file to handle the transaction). That means that items will be advertised and transacted with local currency, rather than a proprietary app-currency.

As for the transportability of items bought in Horizon Worlds, Meta says that anything buy can currently only be used in the world in which it was purchased. So if you buy a hat in one world, you only have access to it when you’re inside that specific world.

A photo provided by Meta also gives us some hints about the mutability of the things you purchase in Horizon Worlds, with the fine-print of the transaction pop-up warning that items are “subject to changes by creator even after purchase.” The pop-up also mentions a set of ‘User in-World Purchase Terms’, of which we’ve asked the company for a full copy.

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Meta says it plans to gather feedback on the Horizon Worlds selling tools and the structure of item ownership, and evolve the offering over time. At present, only select creators have access to the selling tools, but the company expects to expand access over time.

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  • Sven Viking

    So when they say they want people to be able to earn a living in Horizon Worlds, that’s going to require pulling in enough money for two livings basically. Things are going to have to change a *lot* for that to sound plausible for more than a select few.

    • Ad

      They want creators to pull in enough for Zuck to make a living. On Mars.

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      • VR5

        To be fair, Zuckerberg doesn’t seem to be interested in traveling to space, or sending people to colonize other planets like the blend of SciFi that Bezos and Musk subscribe to. Instead VR and the metaverse could possibly contribute to solving the problems we have on earth, like limitedness of physical resources.

        • XRC

          Telepresence could drastically reduce the need to travel for business, with much needed reduction in energy consumption

          • VR5

            Definitely. And a VR conference needs to relay a much smaller amount of data compared to a video conference. Even with compression, a video feed is a massive amount of data. Video conferences have contributed a lot to the increase in energy consumption during the lockdown.

        • Ad

          Musk wants to enslave people on mars, facebook wants to enslave people in the ether.

          • VR5

            Well if you’re charmed by Musk to travel to Mars and then come to your senses, going back isn’t that easy. Way home takes years, you’re probably financially burdened at that point. The dependency on going through with what you started might be approaching the state of being a slave.

            Virtual reality on the other hand is easy in, easy out.

            You might be thinking of all paid labor to be slavery, which is trivializing real slavery, but even if include approximations I think “metaverse slavery” is a much lighter problem to escape than being a colonist.

          • Ad

            Oh, I forgot you’re a troll.

          • VR5

            To make a living, people can choose among available jobs, considering payment and working conditions. Unless Meta can somehow ensure that they’re the only employer, you’re always free to choose a different “slave holder”. Seriously, you can criticize capitalism without diminishing the history of real slavery.

          • Ad

            Please don’t concern troll, you absolute clown. Musk said he wanted indentured servitude on Mars. You remind me of those white creeps who said “wage slavery” was a racist term when it was created by frederick douglass and is used in context.

          • VR5

            There are certainly precarious employments that are close enough to slavery to be called a kind of (and/or an approximation to) slavery, like the wage slavery you cited, and there’s also real modern slavery. As you can see from my comment, I definitely see a problem with Musk’s plans to colonize Mars and that warrants strong language.

            I don’t see working in the metaverse as necessarily as problematic as that, they’re not the same and it’s not even close.

            I’m also not raising concern towards what you do and say, I’m engaging with what you say in an argument. That certainly isn’t concern or any other kind of trolling.

            That you accuse me of trolling is just your refusal to answer to my argument. Which is, if you don’t explain how something is actually a kind of slavery (and what kind) you will have the opposite effect of convincing. If every work is slavery, people who work and don’t feel like slaves will just disagree with you and gladly continue to ignore your cause.

            Poking fun is cheap, arguing convincingly is harder. If your joke is also a lie, it is just self defeating.

          • Ad

            This is obviously trolling, long winded aggressively calm engagement that no one asked for is precisely what Tucker Carlson does. You’re a gross tech douche who interrogates anything that offends him with any argument you can muster. You don’t actually believe any of it, you’re just so delusionally attached to VR and meta that you’ll say anything. It’s incredibly cringe-worthy and reminds me why I hated seeing your valueless pond scum comments every time.

          • VR5

            Do you think you’re clairvoyant? I guess I could tell you that is not an accurate description of me but you only believe what you want to anyway. Defeat the arguments, come up with strong evidence for your claims instead of escaping into a fantasy where you’re always right.

      • Charles

        To fund his political manipulation endeavors this fall.

    • Holdup

      Remember to pay your tax

      • Sven Viking

        Fair. Three livings.

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  • Ad

    So ungrateful. Facebook invented VR, social experiences, the internet, and now they’re willing to pay you in useful and convenient Zuck Bucks and you complain? Well I guess some people just hate VR.

    • Charles

      Facebook did not invent VR. Palmer Luckey revived VR and began its modern era, with his own independent company. Facebook bought Palmer’s company years later.

      • Ad

        I was obviously kidding.

        • Charles

          Oh, haha.

  • James Cobalt

    Well that’s a terrible precedent to set. And one that won’t last. If this thing has legs, they’ll be undercut by competitors pretty substantially.

    • Cl

      Epic will jump in with their 12%

      • ViRGiN

        And everyone will still purchase on Steam with their 30%.

    • 360

      “If this thing has legs”
      …the avatars don’t even have legs. ;)

  • Cl

    If you actually make a living selling on the platform, also reduce income tax lol. Youll be taking home like 30%

  • xyzs

    They are begging to fail.

    • ViRGiN

      Like Steam over-a-decade-long milking 30% every single time a transaction is made? When Steam came out, it was ridicuouled how big of a cut company takes for simply hosting the game files on their servers. Now million of gamers don’t see a tiny bit of an issue with that LOL.

      It doesn’t matter if it’s 50% or 70% – it either works or it don’t. Meta is the only real company being able to deliver a product that is actually WORTH it.

      • ¥DK¥

        Incorrect, many people including myself and the company I work in feel that 30% doesn’t make sense anymore.
        That % was set because they had no competition and controlled the market, that’s not the case anymore.
        Anyone working in game development will tell you that 30% doesn’t make sense anymore. Get up with the times!

        • ViRGiN

          When it comes to VR, it’s 10000% all about Meta. There is no competition, never was, and won’t be for a VERY long time. Valve is a sick joke, and I never said 30% is okay. You noticed they had no competition and controlled the market – and they still do to this day! So why would they ever change. You may have various other storefronts – but absolutetly everyone is buying everything on STEAM as long as they can – because they have been doing so for decades. That’s why every giga corporation is setting their own store aka Battlenet, Uplay. So you may have 200 different “metaverses” in the future – none of them will be able to allow it’s user make ACTUAL money.

          • PK

            do you seriously believe that? meta’s social platform will almost definitely fail, and they’ll try to buy rec room for billions. hopefully unsuccessfully. and vrchat would be tougher to purchase because they know their potential and it’s massive, it’s already very big and they’re about to roll out their own creator economy soon, why would anyone try selling on zuck’s store when vrc’s is an option for serious creators? horizon will have to go down in price to have any hope of being competitive in the coming years.

            also, while the vrc community hate’s nft’s, they’ve already built an economy that sustains lots of creators, which you seem completely unaware of. but once the official commerce system is introduced later this year it’ll really ramp up.

          • ViRGiN

            vrchat might be for ‘serious creators’, but it’s not for serious users who are actually spending money somewhat regularly.
            i have never ever seen a PCVR-grade world in vrchat.

            Nobody cares if let’s say 1000 “creators” sustain themselves. What do they actually create that people spend money on? Most random popular youtube videos about vrchat contains at least 90% of copyrighted, ported content.

            VR is supposed to be for billions of people, not couple of thousands nerds. VR Chat is absolutetly irrelevant by public perception.

          • PK

            you really have a harsh, limited view of this platform, that has many very different massive communities. the maps here i enjoy most have better textures than most of what’s in the steam vr store.

            also you’re way more interested in mass commercial vr than the enthusiasts are. the early internet was great for creation, when it was more fringe. so are many creative scenes, some are highly influential for the mainstream later but once everybody gets online, you get facebook, which is garbage.

            a nice balance would be when it’s large enough that artist and art fans and other communities too can find and support each other, but it’s not a publicly traded company making decisions based purely on profit. no great art scenes thrive in that environment.

          • ViRGiN

            Mass commercial VR? There is nothing enthusiast about wanting proper true games, in likes of Battlefield, COD, GTA or anything that will pretty much satisfy everyone. But there is NOTHING like that!
            PCVR has untapped potential, with no potential potential (lol) developers. Platform is as good as what you can use it for. Hand tracking has been so much better on external devices than on Quest 2, yet it still remains extremely irrelevant… with the exception of some hardcore simulators. That category might be enthusiast. The rest just fails to see the real picture.

            Yet again. You like vrchat textures. Now show me a single PCVR grade quality world available.

          • PK

            also, while i do believe that what you’re seeing in vrc is actually happening within certain areas, there’s so many different use cases, many have many thousands participating. and some are smaller scenes for example, famous scientists gathering together to discuss their research. i’ve heard of this a few times, enough so that i assume it’s much more widespread than i thought. it was a lifeline for many during the early pandemic and many are sticking with it. for me, i now hang out with my ex-roommate after he moved to another country, and we sometimes watch movies like we did before, and we completely forget we’re in vr, it’s great.

            this is a big world you don’t need to make something so widespread to service them all to be a good thing. although i fully expect vrc to be 10x this big soon enough, and more lucrative for many, and i’ll start missing the old days probably.

          • ViRGiN

            enough to assume? people do actually use vrchat for that?
            i have to label it as fake until proven. it is being done in neosvr, and it has actual tools to collaborate in real time. vrchat does not. prove me wrong.

          • PK

            oh there’s lots of people these days who happen to mention they spend time in vrc to meet up with friends, and some build maps of their own, usually quite amateurish though. like whatshisname, some buddy of joe rogan that’s always on his podcast, i haven’t listened in many years but i saw a clip of him talking about vrc and the place he built and they have fun in it. i won’t mention those i actually respect because i don’t know how public it is that they have active avatars in here.

            neos is quite capable, not a fan of their crypto enthusiasm, something vrc is not encouraging which i appreciate, but frooxius has done impressive things with neos. however with what’s possibly using udon now you can build your own collaborative tools in your maps, although people are still learning how to use it. also with OSC it gives creators much more capabilities. it’s available for avatars now, for worlds soon, and that’ll come with making it possible to make persistant games and experiences. we’ll be able to remember users from one of our worlds to another, reward them if they complete something, or just if they’re friends, you can do a little of that but it’s going to get much better soon.

        • VR5

          Valve’s 30% cut is for visibility, for hosting your game on their servers providing download bandwidth (distribution) and for platform features like achievements, community boards, guides, mods, etc. I think it is fair.

          • Lhorkan

            30% is outrageous, and only tenable because all the major platforms hold on to their money printer. EGS and Microsoft are both at 12%. Valve could easily offer the same if they wanted to – but they have no incentive to do so.

          • VR5

            Whatever adjective you choose to describe the cut, that’s your opinion. If you’re a dev/pub and think the cut is too high you’re free not to publish on the platform and take your business to EGS or the Windows Store instead.

          • Lhorkan

            Yes, that is the whole point. Like I said, all the major platforms hold on to this cut, because they know developers need to be on those platforms to get any kind of visibility. There is no real free choice.

          • VR5

            You mean there are no good choices because everyone either wants a high cut or doesn’t have a large audience. But that’s the thing, popular platforms have something you want: an audience. You could find an audience yourself. Or you could put your game on Steam, and if you make a sale, they will take a cut. For showing your game to their audience.

            What you want is an ideal world where everything sells. Instead you’re getting the real world, where only some things sell. And Steam is an ally in that world, because they help you sell.

            You’re free to curse the world for not being perfect. But that isn’t Valve’s fault.

          • Lhorkan

            Yes, the point is that the fee for the audience is too high. There is no defending it. No marketing in the world is as expensive as 30% of the revenue.

          • ViRGiN

            “you’re free not to publish on the platform”
            yet when meta does the same, suddenly you have problem with it?
            dont like horizon, go and sell stuff on vrchat and neos. GOOD FUKING LUCK WITH THAT! nobody spends any money there ever.

        • kontis

          He said gamers. Gamers don’t care about cuts and hate Epic.
          Devs do care and love Epic.

          TWO DIFFERENT WORLDS.

  • Rob

    This shouldnt come as a real surprise. The quest 2 is sold at very low prices if compared to other headsets. Facebook / meta sells these headsets very low prices with the intention to make the profits another way. With the apps. Add to that the fact that the VR division of Facebook/ meta last year made big losses (around 10 billion) it shouldnt come as a surprise that they do this. And I cant blame them. Without the investments of Facebook / meta in VR I think VR might have been almost dead by now. Thanks to Facebook/ meta it is not.

  • VR5

    Having two fees is a forward thinking move already adressing the eventual metaverse marketplace I think. If virtual goods made with Horizon tools are sold on a non Horizon platform, Meta could still collect the 25% tool fee. In that case, the 25% to 47.5% range would be lower than the 30% to 70% range of Roblox.

  • Raphael

    I have a range of lower torsos for sale but I’ve already been told they won’t be useable at the same time as upper torsos. That means my legs could be sold as a mod that replaces upper torsos, but we can’t have full torsos. I am thus seeking funding to develop my own metaverse: “infinite legaverse”

    • Charles

      “I have a range of lower torsos for sale”

      ***FBI has entered the chat***

      • Raphael

        Unforeseen consequences.. :)

    • Sven Viking

      infinite legaverse

      I think leg averse players will prefer Horizon to be honest.

    • ViRGiN

      oh, meta so bad for not having legs, yet rec room is number one app EVER on PCVR? lol

  • Holdup

    Not good, we can’t let Facebook control the metaverse, we need big competition ASAP

    • alxslr

      They won’t

    • ViRGiN

      “we cant”? i’ll let meta do whatever the fuk they want, because every single company out there outside of them has done literally nothing, Valve leading the RACE TO THE NOTHING BUT RESELLING

  • Nothing to see here

    Creators: Please don’t waste your time on Horizon Worlds. It’s garbage (graphics, tools, features, etc.) and Meta will likely just throw it away when something better comes along (which could happen any day now). It also has NOTHING to do with the metaverse.

  • JakeDunnegan

    Sounds fair.

    Oh wait, it’s not April Fool’s Day? Oh, SCREW THAT.

  • Anything over 10% is highway robbery, looking at you steam and apple

    • PK

      really curious what vrchat will charge once they’re ready to roll, i hope it’s 10% or less. if yes then horizon would have to charge way less to have any hope of competing for creator talent.

  • We have taken taxes to the metaverse. Yay.