Meta to charge a whopping 47.5% fee on metaverse virtual asset purchases

Metaverse In-App Purchase
(Image credit: Meta)

Creators that make and sell digital assets in Meta’s Horizon Worlds virtual reality platform will earn quite a bit less than expected as the company is planning to take a cut of up to 47.5 percent.

In a recent blog post, Facebook’s parent company announced that it will allow select Horizon Worlds creators to sell virtual assets within their digital worlds. While this is good news for creators, Meta failed to mention just how much it will charge them to sell digital assets and possibly even NFTs on its platform.

According to a new report from CNBC, a company spokesperson confirmed to the news outlet that it will take an overall cut of up to 47.5 percent on each transaction. This cut includes a “hardware platform fee” of 30 percent for sales made through the Meta Quest Store though Horizon Worlds will also charge a 17.5 percent fee.

So far reactions from creators regarding Meta’s high fees have been less than stellar which could hurt adoption of Horizon Worlds which launched in the US and Canada back in December of last year but has yet to be rolled out worldwide.

Virtual assets vs in-app purchases

As the metaverse is still a relatively new idea and has yet to be fully implemented, CNBC and other news outlets have made comparisons to the company’s fees for the sale of virtual assets in Horizon Worlds with the fees Apple charges app developers.

In the past, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other executives from the company have criticized the iPhone maker for charging developers a 30 percent fee for in-app purchases. Back in November of last year, Zuckerberg explained that the company would make it easier for developers to earn more for their work, saying:

“As we build for the metaverse, we’re focused on unlocking opportunities for creators to make money from their work. The 30% fees that Apple takes on transactions make it harder to do that, so we’re updating our subscriptions product so now creators can earn more.”

Meanwhile, Google announced last year that it will reduce its own 30 percent fee for digital purchases in the Play Store to 15 percent for the first $1m in annual revenue while Apple announced that it would reduce its fee to 15 percent for developers making under $1m each year.

Meta needs to make money on the metaverse in order for it to succeed but with fees as high as 47.5 percent, it may be difficult to convince developers to create content for Horizon Worlds. Still though, the company could decide to lower its fees ahead of Horizon Worlds’ global rollout.

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.