The company says that Horizon Worlds will be available in additional countries sometime this summer.
Meta yesterday announced plans to merge its VR live events platform, Horizon Venues, with its growing VR metaverse, Horizon Worlds, offering users a one-stop social platform accessible via the Meta Quest 2 VR headset.
Since its launch back in 2020, Meta (formerly Facebook) has hosted a wide range of immersive live stream events on the Venues platform, including everything from live concerts featuring popular artists like Billie Eilish and the Foo Fighters to major sports events such as UFC and the PGA World Tour. There are also live comedy shows, group meditation sessions, and a whole bunch of VR esports broadcasts.
You can explore a virtual lobby using your Meta avatars and watch live and on-demand content side-by-side with friends, strangers, or on your own from the comfort of your own private booth. Some shows take advantage of the technology to deliver immersive 180-degree experiences available exclusively in VR.
Starting next month, Venues will officially merge with Horizon Worlds, a VR social platform where users can build and share their own virtual worlds, host live events, and develop interactive games and activities. Venues will exist as its own virtual world inside the metaverse; simply look for Venues in your world browser menu and select ‘join’ to get started.
This is a smart move by the company. Since the launch of Horizon Worlds late last year, we’ve been hoping that Meta’s live event platform would one day merge with its growing VR metaverse. Accessibility has been and will continue to be a major factor in regard to the mainstream adoption of immersive technology, and by combining these platforms, Meta further streamlines its metaverse experience for Quest 2 users.
Venues will merge with Horizon Worlds on June 6th. The platform is currently available to those ages 18+ in the US and Canada. As previously stated, the company plans on expanding to additional countries this summer. Those using the original Meta Quest will lose access to Venues when the platform merges with Horizon Worlds, as will those outside the US or Canada and those under the age of 18. The company says you’ll still be able to catch highlights and replays via Oculus TV.
Since its launch this past December, Horizon Worlds has received a number of significant updates. In February Meta launched its own arcade restaurant inside the metaverse as part of a cross-promotion for its Super Bowl LVI ad. The company followed up with additional in-game safety features as well as a metaverse culture series.
Most recently, Meta announced plans to release a handful of monetization tools that will allow select creators to sell virtual items and effects within their custom worlds. For example, users could purchase a virtual key that grants them access to a VIP area of a virtual world available exclusively to paid supporters. To help support the next generation of creators, Meta is opening a virtual boot camp designed to encourage VR world-building on the platform.
Image Credit: Meta