Meta is offering cash rewards and training through its Oculus Start and Launch Pad programs to creators building in VR with Horizon Worlds.
Last year, Facebook (now Meta) launched a $10 million fund to encourage people to create in Horizon Worlds with community competitions and prizes for those expanding on specific themes or game mechanics. Now, Meta is adding tracks to its existing VR developer programs for “builders” in Horizon Worlds, and offering people who are selected for the program a boot camp of training with its tools alongside “support from Meta experts” and “a chance to earn funding or cash prizes through an exclusive competition,” according to the company.
Previously, Oculus Start and Oculus Launch Pad functioned to help on-board developers into Facebook’s ecosystem for VR software, with developers typically using game engines like Unreal Engine or Unity to bring their work to fruition on headsets like Quest. Horizon Worlds, though, uses in-VR building tools with a scripting system and a focus on community sharing to layer in additional logic and complexity to its worlds.
“For our first cohort of builders, we’re dedicating over $500,000 in funding and cash prizes to program developers creating unique, innovative, and engaging worlds in Horizon Worlds,” a blog post from Meta reads.
Rec Room and VRChat raised large investment rounds in recent months as the startups mature and their own platforms grow from virtual worlds made by creators. We’ll be curious to see how Horizon Worlds develops alongside Rec Room and VRChat throughout the rest of 2022 as Meta is poised to add an additional headset to its VR product offerings while also extending its “Horizon” branding into the core social experience from the moment you put on a Meta headset.