Even before his digital social space can really take off, Meta is already seen by some VR game developers as the villain of the metaverse thanks to his hefty Quest Store fees.
According to the latest reports, several VR game creators are unhappy with Meta's 30% revenue cut for games sold through the Quest Store, the main way most gamers download new Quest games. 2 (via Financial Times (Opens in a new tab)).
Although this is nothing new in the world of games, the 30% discount on Meta is almost the same as on other platforms such as the Google Play Store, Apple App Store and Valve's Steam, many are particularly upset with Meta, accusing it of be a hypocrite
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been highly critical of the App Store's policies, saying its approval process gives it "unique control as the gatekeeper of what happens on phones."
Meta defended its part, pointing out that unlike Android and Apple smartphones, it's relatively easy to download apps through third-party storefronts onto your headphones. One example she gave was SideQuest, which just got an update so you can install a VR version from the store right on your headset; However, the developers fought back, arguing that these other stores are not as well known as the Meta Quest Store, probably in part because only the Meta Store itself is installed on the Quest 2 headset by default.
These complaints follow similar issues earlier this year, when it was revealed that Meta was planning to cut all sales in Horizon Worlds by almost 50%. Platform creators would not only have to pay their usual 30% Quest Store fee, but also an additional 25% of the rest on sale through Horizon Worlds. Combined, that means people selling VR items at Horizon Worlds would only earn €0.53 for every dollar sold.
Once again, Meta was accused of backtracking on previous statements she made. Back at Facebook Connect 2021, where he first publicly showcased many of his metaverse plans, Zuckerberg said the company wanted its services to be "cheaper, not cheaper."
Speaking about creating digital platforms, he added: "I've come to believe that a lack of choice and high fees stifle innovation, stop people from building new things, and hold back the entire internet economy."
(*2*)Can we players do something?
As we said earlier, these types of window dressing practices are not new, and despite fan efforts and legal battles, nothing has really changed, especially on mobile platforms. But here we could have a bit more power to rule Meta and hopefully bring down the cost of VR gaming in the process.
As Meta pointed out, Quest 2 headset owners aren't limited to just one option when shopping for new VR titles. Of course, SideQuest (opens in a new tab) doesn't have all the best VR games on its platform yet, but downloading this free app will increase your user base. This, in turn, could help show big developers that the Quest Store alternative can also be a financially viable home for their VR projects.
SideQuest already has some great experiences available to play right now, many of which are free, so you'll immediately get a head start by downloading it today. And with their new native Quest beta (opens in a new tab), it's easier than ever to browse their store and download their games. What are you waiting for?