There’s a new robber baron in town and its name is Meta.
Meta to take 47.5% cut of in-app sales within upcoming VR metaverse Horizon Worlds.
According to the New York Post, Meta (formerly Facebook) plans to take a whopping 47.5% of sales made in their upcoming metaverse called Horizon Worlds. The Quest store itself charges a 30% transaction fee and Horizon Worlds will keep 25% of remaining profit from the sale. This will add up to a total cut of 47.5%.
The New York Post writes,
“The ability to sell virtual goods will initially be open to just a “handful” of creators, Meta said, adding that buyers will be limited to users in the US and Canada who are at least 18 years old. But metaverse merchants who make sales under the new system going to have to pony up a huge chunk of their profits to Meta.”
Talk about bad margins for game developers…
To put this into perspective Fortnite sued Apple due to Apple’s unfair 30% fee that they were taking from hardworking developers, AND FORTNITE LOST. Imagine that: a 30% fee triggered a huge lawsuit and Meta plans to take 47.5%. When will this robbery end?
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Meta is the new name Facebook has decided to rebrand to, after a big decision to shift gears to ward being a metaverse company, rather than a social media giant.
Everyone who either owns an Oculus Quest headset (yeah I refuse to call it Meta Quest) or is remotely interested in the VR industry should greatly care about this.
While I was initially excited about how quickly the mainstream VR market was growing from 2020-2021 thanks to Meta’s resources, the reality has started to hit.
One tech powerhouse essentially owning the VR industry will certainly have it’s downsides.
This will impact all of us invested in VR, not just developers. If devs are only taking home 52.5% of sales, they may have to charge more for each game or in-game item to break even.
Let’s say you’re walking around in Horizon Worlds and want to but a cool avatar skin created by Average Joe Indie Company. Joe prices the skin at $5. Not a bad price for you. But out of that $5, Joe only takes home a little over $2.50.
How long did it take Joe to develop it and make sure it functioned properly in Horizon Worlds? He’d have to sell thousands of skins every month to make a decent living as dev on the platform.
These fees the face devs will affect individual VR users in the long run and set a precedent for acceptable pricing in VR metaverses.
I know Ocean’s 11 sort of glamorized heists, but the reality of it is dark and unjust. As a VR enthusiast, I just want to experience the best games and apps possible in virtual reality and I want most of my money going to the hardworking devs that built it.
That’s my two cents, anyway. If you feel differently, let me know in the comments below! Cheers and have a nice day.