Meta announced today that it’s integrating its Horizon Venues event experience into its social virtual reality Horizon Worlds platform. Horizon Venues is currently a separate app dedicated to attending live events in VR that uses the same avatars as Horizon Worlds. On June 6, users will be able to attend these live events directly within Horizon Worlds and the standalone Venues app will be discontinued.
“You’ll be able to catch your favorite marquee shows, from live sporting events to concerts from today’s hit artists and beyond, then hit up a comedy club or meditation session or even host your own meet-up, all from within Horizon Worlds,” the company said in a blog post about the announcement.
Meta says it has experimented with portals between Horizon Venues and Horizon Worlds over the past few months and found that users will be able to experience a seamless jump between the two via the integration.
Users above the age of 18 in the United States and Canada who have access to Horizon Worlds on Quest 2 will be able to access Venues programming in the Horizon Worlds app on June 6. Users who aren’t in the United States or Canada, are under the age of 18, and/or are on Quest 1 will lose access to Venues programming when the standalone Venues app goes away on June 6. Meta notes that these users will still be able to catch highlights and replays of Venues events in Oculus TV.
Horizon Worlds opened up to all users over 18 years old in the U.S. and Canada in December 2021 after the platform was first announced in 2019. Meta said today that it plans to expand access to Horizon Worlds in more countries this summer.
Today’s news comes as the company’s CTO Andrew “Boz” Bosworth revealed in a tweet that Meta is working on a web version of Horizon Worlds. The expansion would allow users to try out Horizon Worlds without having to use Quest VR headsets, which is currently the only way to access the virtual world. Meta’s plans to launch web and mobile versions of its virtual world could be seen as a way for the company to get more people to join Horizon Worlds by avoiding the need for a Quest VR headset.
Meta also recently revealed that it’s testing a feature that will let creators sell virtual items and effects within their worlds. The new feature is rolling out to a small group of creators to start and marks a significant next step in the company’s mission of building the foundation of virtual reality social networking.