Rec Room wants to create a functional digital economy which would let creators generate content for the social VR app and sell it to others for cash. The studio took a big step late last year by allowing its premium members to to sell their creations for in-game tokens. Now those users can exchange their hard-earned tokens for real cash—with a few caveats.
At the time of this writing, one ‘eligible token’ is worth $0.0004, making it equivalent to $400 per million tokens, the studio outlines in a blogpost.
Eligibility is a bit of a sticking point; tokens that are earned through commerce like selling digital items or keys to user-generated rooms can be exchanged for real cash, while tokens earned playing the app’s mini-games cannot. All tokens work for in-game purchases just the same however. Here’s how the studio describes the situation:
Eligible tokens are those that were earned from selling Premium Inventions and Keys; You can view them on your Rec.net profile page. Sorry, but you’re not cashing out of the tokens you earned while glitching 3D Charades. When it comes to spending your tokens in-game, your eligible tokens will be used last. For example, you’ve earned a total of 500 tokens from playing Paintball and 1,000 tokens selling Keys. You’re so happy about your success that you want to buy the ‘I <3 RR’ shirt that costs 600 tokens. When you make that purchase, it will first use the 500 tokens earned from Paintball, then use 100 from Keys. We built it this way so that you can continue to spend your tokens but retain as much of your eligible earnings as possible. Neat, huh?
For now the studio is putting a cap of 25 million tokens exchangeable per month, or a cool $10,000. Tokens can only be exchanged once per month, and in denominations of one million tokens, which is probably there to weed out people looking to scam a quick buck.
Rec Room also outlined a few additional ways to keep the would-be malefactors at bay. To earn real money, you have to meet these requirements:
- Your account is at least 30 days old
- Your account is not a Junior account
- Your account has a verified email address
- Your account has an active RR+ membership
- You haven’t been banned in the last 90 days
- You are not actively restricted from selling
Other VR apps have tried putting the cart before the horse with their digital economies in effort to recreate the success of Second Life, but Rec Room’s approach seems to have more potential than most if only based on its over one million monthly active VR users and many more joining on traditional consoles, mobile devices, and PC. The studio says it hopes to pay out $1M to creators in 2021 through its token exchange program.
It’ll be interesting to see how Rec Room grows from here; the whole token-to-cash exchange is likely a manual process with plenty of human oversight for now, but that may not always be the case as the company scales up to accommodate more creators looking to make a living.
To kick off its nascent economy, Rec Room will be hosting a sales contest, called ‘The Ink Inc. March Sell-a-thon’. Rewards of over four million tokens (~$1,600) will go to top selling rooms and premium inventions. Check out the contest rules here.