Rec Room announced back in September that it was working on a way for its users to earn real cash by creating content for the game. In a recent update, the social VR platform has now taken its first big step in generating that functional economy by letting premium users sell their creations for in-game tokens.
The new feature is currently only available to Rec Room Plus members who pay an $8 per month subscription fee to get things like in-store discounts on items, more slots for avatar outfits, and a monthly bonus of 6,000 tokens for free—something the developer says is worth $10.
Now, Rec Room Plus members can earn tokens too by putting their individual creations up for sale, which can be created in-game with the help of an object called the Maker Pen. Premium members can also now sell keys, which can be used to unlock multiple items or experiences in rooms.
Sellable items include things like avatar outfits, decorative objects, weapons, furniture, gameplay circuits, and skins for the user’s private ‘dorm room’ home base area. The minimum price set on items is currently 500 tokens, while the max is 10,000.
Currently there isn’t a fixed exchange rate from hard currency; the larger the amount you buy directly in the store, the greater discount you can get, with the top package costing $50 for 35,000 tokens, or $1.43 per 1,000 tokens. All users can earn tokens by playing games and winning weekly competitions too.
And although there’s currently no way to convert back from token to hard currency, the studio said back in September that, in the future, users would be able to do just that, even saying its users could potentially “support themselves” by being full-time Rec Room creators.
There’s still plenty of questions that need answering before that happens though. For now, a premium membership means cash is always flowing in the direction of Rec Room’s coffers, however it will be intriguing to see how the company makes the leap to real-world economy in the future and that cash starts leaving the platform. With a bustling user base, cross-platform support with all major VR headsets, and an ever-growing set of in-game maker tools, Rec Room is well positioned though, maybe even more so than past attempts by the likes of High Fidelity and Sansar, at one point considered the spiritual successors to Second Life.
It’s still largely uncharted territory for a VR game of its size however, especially one so widely distributed across multiple locked-down store fronts, such as the Oculus Store and the PlayStation Store. How they handle things like gambling, money laundering, and other illicit behavior will be something to watch out for, as users now have an impressive amount of agency in comparison to when the game first launched back in 2016.
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If you’re interested in becoming a creator and earning tokens, check out the game’s community commerce guide on how to get started. Rec Room is available for free on PC, PS4, SteamVR headsets, PSVR, Quest, and iOS. A version for Xbox is also in the works.