On Monday, Facebook parent Meta revealed that its Metaverse, Horizon Worlds, will be testing a new way to sell virtual goods, services, and experiences to creators within the digital universe (such as fashion accessories, or access to exclusive spaces). As CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a video, those features represent “a whole new part of the e-commerce equation” and, according to a blog post from the company, “our long-term vision for the metaverse.” There will be one more step. Producers can earn a living. ,
However, it did not mention that the platform would deduct a total of 47.5% of all sales made in the Metaverse — 30% as hardware fees from the Meta Quest store, and 25% of the remaining from Horizon Worlds itself — leaving creators on their own. With more than half of revenue, before taxes.
When that fact was publicly reported a few days later, it received a swift and overwhelming response. Such a response could have been predictable, as Meta’s cut dwarfs NFT trading platforms such as OpenC, which charges a much smaller 2.5%, and rival newcomer LuxRay, which charges just 2% and even less. that pays sellers in cryptocurrency tokens. (According to Meta, its testing facilities don’t include NFTs.) In that context, Horizon Worlds’ fees are almost astonishing, as if they were designed to annoy customers. A quick scroll through social media turns up these Twitter posts:
Just because you changed your name to Meta doesn’t mean you understand the value of Web3.
47.5% Creator Fee????
I hate you Facebook.
— TradingFemale.nft (@TradingFemale) 13 April 2022
Meta has entered the arena pic.twitter.com/xVj00AiM3m
— Lawrence (London Edition) (@functi0nZer0) 13 April 2022
Don’t even feel like I need to tweet @Meta
There is no world in which creators choose a platform that takes almost half of their income, when they can do the same thing elsewhere and capture almost all of its value.
end of conversation
— 2070 (@punk_2070) 12 April 2022
A Look at the Meta Boardroom pic.twitter.com/lBlt3Npm6W
— Alan Carroll (@alancarroII) 12 April 2022
Meta declined to comment when reached by fast company,
Some have argued that the exorbitant fees make it nearly impossible for creators to “earn a living”, much less to reap any benefits – notably after government taxes, Meanwhile, others are calling the company a hypocrite. In the past, Zuckerberg has joined Epic Games and others in eliminating 30% of the Apple App Store’s fees for app developers, and vowed to help creators avoid them. “As we build for the Metaverse, we are focused on unlocking opportunities for creators to make money from their work,” he said in November.
The face may surprise some, but not Aaron Beerscht, CEO of blockchain-based developer studio Laguna Games, who says Zuckerberg’s plays are flawed. “It’s a perfect example of web2 versus web3,” he said. fast company in an email. “The fact that they are charging 25% after platform fees is just ridiculous. People want ownership and control that Zuck will never give them because all these assets live in his centralized sandbox. He is always looking to Well that’s where Puck is going (thus the pivot of Meta) but he’s trying to co-opt Web3 concepts that won’t satisfy the Meta shareholder’s desire for profit.
Did Meta really need the extra cash? It’s possible that the company was betting big on the success of the Metaverse, and chose to be upfront about its profit ambitions. But either way, it looks like he shot himself in the foot, and possibly blew up what may have been a strong limitation for early Metaverse pioneers. Although the company maintains the advantages of massive distribution power, and a friendly user OnRamp, Bearschitt says, “It is my belief that Web3 will eventually win because there is a better alignment of incentives. . . Zuck not building the metaverse.” Well, there’s just another walled garden.”
While some of Horizon Worlds’ creators may be left with a sour taste in their mouths, Meta’s move could ultimately be very useful for the nascent Metaverse industry — which hasn’t been around long enough for a platform to dominate the space. Is. With his vast reach, Zuckerberg may have set out to do the same, but now several competitors are likely to emerge, catalyzed by the manufacturer’s demand for a more attractive model. And perhaps some that really capture the decentralized spirit of Web3 will rise.
According to Meta, as it expands to other platforms, its 30% Meta Quest store fee will be decided to be charged by other companies, although the 25% Horizon Worlds deduction will remain. It has reportedly said that it believes it is “a fairly competitive rate in the market.”