Categories: MarketingSocialMedia

Meta Releases Horizon Worlds Amidst VR Push

Meta Platforms, formerly named Facebook, has brought its Horizon Worlds VR app out of invitation-only beta test mode, making it accessible to all users over 18 in the US or Canada.

The launch is Meta’s first since it changed its name from Facebook in October, as part of a renewed focus on developing “metaverse” VR products.

Horizon Worlds, formerly Facebook Horizon, was announced in 2019 as Meta’s flagship social VR app, and focuses on encouraging users to build their own games and experiences on the platform, similar to Roblox and other creator-oriented platforms.

Meta also offers its own Horizon Worlds games, but in October announced $10 million (£7.6m) in funding that creators can receive by winning competitions.

Image credit: Meta

Social worlds

The platform currently offers no way for creators to directly make money from their games, unlike Roblox, where creators can sell their games for in-app currency.

Meta said it is seeking to offer “best-in-class social world-building tools”.

“We’ve spent the past year developing those tools and improving them based on creator feedback,” the company said in a statement.

Besides playing games, Horizon Worlds allows users to attend events or “hang out”.

The app is free to users of Meta’s Oculus Quest 2 headset. The company said the app will stop supporting the Oculus Quest 1 on 13 January.

After entering the game’s universe, users create a legless, floating avatar that they can use to interact with others within various “worlds”.

They can also create their own worlds, placing items within them and creating “scripts” to define how the game works.

VR Chat

The concept is similar to existing VR apps such as Rec Room or VR Chat, where users create avatars and social environments.

Meta said “thousands” of worlds have already been built on the platform during the test period.

These include shooting games, a magic flying broomstick wrold, and, one of the more popular, a game called “Mark’s Riverboat” that lets users simply ride along on a triple-decker boat.

Meta has come under fire over the safety of its offerings, with Instagram head Adam Mosseri testifying before the US Congress last week about the issue.

The company said it has included safety features in Horizon Worlds, such as invite-only worlds and blocking and reporting features.

The primary menu, which users access by looking at their left wrist, includes a safety button that takes the user to a “Safe Zone”, a private room where they can block, mute and report people.

Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

Recent Posts

Kaspersky To Shutter US Operation After National Security Ban

Russian cybersecurity giant Kaspersky is to close down all of its operations in the United…

15 mins ago

Microsoft Faces UK Probe Over Inflection Staff Hiring

Poaching staff? UK's CMA regulator confirms phase one investigation of Microsoft's “hiring” of former Inflection…

3 hours ago

Elon Musk To Relocate SpaceX, X HQ To Texas

Leaving California. Elon Musk protests new gender-identity law, says he will move headquarters of SpaceX…

4 hours ago

Hackers ‘Publish Walt Disney Internal Slack Data’

Hackers reportedly publish data from thousands of Disney internal Slack communications, including data on strategy…

1 day ago

Apple Shares Reach All-Time High On AI Optimism

Apple shares surge after Morgan Stanley rates company 'top pick' over AI plans and says…

1 day ago

Musk Confirms Robotaxi Delay For Design Change

Elon Musk confirms delay of Tesla robotaxi launch as company's shares surge after he publicly…

1 day ago