Facebook plans to pay some serious money to get creators to create content on its virtual reality platform Horizon Worlds.
The social media giant announced this week that it has put together a $ 10 million Creator Fund that will pay out content creators and developers over the next year.
Horizon Worlds (recently renamed to its original name, quite simply Horizon) is essentially an ultra-modern version of computer games Second Life, where users interact with each other in shared virtual spaces using custom avatars. It has been under development since at least 2019, and is currently in invitation beta only.
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Horizon World’s biggest selling point is that users can create their own common spaces – everything from virtual bars and grocery stores to floating meditation gardens to islands filled with carnival games.
And, of course, Facebook wants more and more people to create their own virtual worlds and bring other people into them (especially considering that Horizon Worlds can only be accessed using devices from the Facebook subsidiary Oculus). This is where the Creator Foundation comes in.
The $ 10 million will be paid out in three key areas.
Only later in the year does Horizon Worlds kick off Community competitions, which will “reward people who build the very best worlds in Horizon and who take advantage of the tools we have to offer,” the Oculus team said in a corporate blog post.
Community runners-up, second and third place receive up to $ 10,000 each.
Secondly, an unspecified part of the funding goes to Facebook Horizon Creator Accelerator program. This initiative quietly accepted its first creators in early 2020 and completed the first class last month. According to Oculus, the program “is designed to provide people with diverse backgrounds with an advanced crash course in Horizon Worlds” plus “a unique opportunity to gain the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in a professional environment.”
Facebook will open applications for the second accelerator class in November.
Finally, some funds will go to some external developers, studios and creators who create theme worlds and “experiences” in partnership with Facebook. This is what it looks like in practice: Earlier this year, Oculus worked with several creators to create “cooperative mini-games that are easy to learn and hard to master for two to four players,” it says.
Creators interested in getting a piece of the funding should apply to participate in Horizon Worlds closed beta.
Facebook has not said when Horizon Worlds will open to the public. At one point, it was tentatively expected to release this year, but back in January, Facebook heads Reality Labs Andrew Bosworth said it was definitely not ready for debut.
“I think we finally got all the technical work in place,” Bosworth said CNET. “Now we actually have to start the experience and make it something that is alive. […] If you do not have something that drives a lot of people to the place, you run the risk that they will not get it. Horizon must fit the vision where it really is VR for everyone. ”