Metaverse race: Rec Room has millions more users than Meta
Last February, Meta announced 300,000 monthly active users for Horizon Worlds and Venues. Is that a lot or a little for the social VR world officially launched in December 2021?
This is debatable, also because many of the users were probably lured into Horizon Venues by a one-off Foo Fighters concert. Will they come back? The next few months will show.
At least there is now concrete comparative data: Social VR app Rec Room currently has three million monthly active VR users, according to its own data.
If we use Meta's figures from February 2022 as a comparison, the active Rec Room community is ten times as large as that of Horizon Worlds - but it also has a head start of around six years and is available worldwide. So the future comparison of the two platforms' growth rates will be more interesting.
Rec Room growth: Monitor clearly beats VR
In both titles, VR players switch freely between different rooms. There, they cooperatively create their own levels, entire games or cosmetic objects together with other players. However, Meta's version of this Metaverse world is only available in the USA and Canada for the time being.
Rec Room has seen "much more" growth on platforms without VR headset than in VR - even though the app originally started as a pure virtual reality world.
"We're very happy with the VR growth but at this point VR is a pretty low percentage of our monthly players. Rec Room is seeing much more growth on iOS, Android, PlayStation, and Xbox due to there being billions of those devices out there collectively."
In the virtual reality space of the Rec Room community, however, Meta's hardware dominates: "A majority of those VR monthly active users are Quest 2," Whiting adds.
With virtual reality currently offering limited growth potential and likely to do so for the foreseeable future - Rec Room proves this despite its relatively strong numbers - Meta plans to expand Horizon Worlds to non-VR devices such as smartphones, consoles and the web.
Earning money in virtual worlds
Recently, Horizon Worlds launched tests for monetizing custom-built objects. Rec Room and other gaming platforms like Roblox have also been demonstrating this for some time: Since March 2021, you can earn money in Rec Room thanks to a virtual currency.
You get it for selling your own "inventions" and for other activities, such as when you achieve certain game goals. If you earn about 25,000 tokens per month (equivalent to $100), you can become a "Partnered Creator" in Rec Room and receive real money at the end of the month.