Meta, the parent company for social media giant Facebook, dove into the metaverse and other fledgling Web3 concepts late last year. While some of its products are yet to pick up steam, its non-fungible token (NFT) offering and metaverse are taking shape.
However, the company appears to have hit a major snag this week after it revealed plans to monetise its metaverse app.
High Fees For An Upcoming Product
On Monday, Meta announced that it would open Horizon Worlds – its virtual reality and metaverse platform – to a handful of creators to sell digital items and other collectibles. In a blog post, the holding company confirmed that the testing phase would open the door to a much larger rollout as it continues to build an all-inclusive metaverse.
While progress on its grand ambition is impressive, investors and users quickly caught one distressing detail – Met’s pricing structure for the new product. As the blog post confirmed, Meta plans to take up to 47.5% off each transaction.
A breakdown of Meta’s proposed pricing plan shows that the company plans to take 30% of the price of every item sold in Horizon Worlds via its Oculus virtual reality platform. The remaining 17.5% will go to the Meta App Store. This is even more than Apple’s massive App Store fee, which stands at 30%. It is also much more than most NFT enthusiasts are accustomed to paying.
For reference, OpenSea, the biggest NFT marketplace globally, takes just a 2.5% cut from each NFT sale – while the token’s creators take fees varying between 2.5% and 7.5%.
Blowing The Competition Out Of The Water
Of course, it is worth noting that the items Meta plans to offer aren’t pure-play NFTs. Horizon Worlds (formerly known as Facebook Horizon) is a virtual reality online video game that allows people to build and explore virtual ecosystems. So the items that will be for sale are more kin to animation and skins available in top gaming titles like Apex Legends and Fortnite.
Regardless, Meta wants to build a virtual world that competes with Decentraland and The Sandbox platforms. These platforms already sell real-world items as NFTs, and Meta’s pricing structure for Horizon Worlds looks like a sign of what is to come when the platform integrates NFTs fully.
The company’s released pricing structure already angered several members of NFT Twitter, with one person tweeting, “The future of work is giving Meta 47.5% of your salary, apparently.”
Open Or Close?
While the social media giant’s fees seem exorbitant, there’s also an argument about the future of the metaverse – which Meta chief executive Mark Zuckerberg believes we could all live in at some point.
A metaverse is a digital world frequented by many people. However, as the trend grows, many ask whether metaverses should be closed or opened. A closed metaverse is run by a central entity that owns all assets in the metaverse. An open metaverse allows people to buy and own items as NFTs and exchange them for cryptocurrencies.
The Sandbox, currently one of the crypto industry’s standards for the metaverse, allows people to buy virtual blocks of property and use them as physical property. Creators can also make in-world items and sell them for SAND tokens, which they can exchange for other assets and make money.
It doesn’t necessarily seem like Meta has plans to build an open metaverse. The company would most likely control everything that happens in its universe. But its planned 47.5% fee for sales has rubbed many the wrong way.