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Why Meta’s Horizon Platform Is Based On Metaverse Activations In Roblox And Fortnite

Why Meta’s Horizon Platform Is Based On Metaverse Activations In Roblox And Fortnite
Written by ga_dahmani
Why Meta’s Horizon Platform Is Based On Metaverse Activations In Roblox And Fortnite

Meta has poured billions of dollars into its metaverse platform, Horizon, in a bid to recreate the building economies of communities like Roblox and Fortnite Creative. Drawn to Meta’s field of dreams, Horizon brands and creators are building, but users are yet to arrive, at least in large numbers.

Developing the metaverse is a high-level priority for the company formerly known as Facebook, but it’s still in the early days of achieving that goal. At the moment, the aforementioned rivals of Meta are in the lead thanks to the creative economies that developed organically within them. Marketers are already paying individual Roblox and Fortnite creators tens of thousands of dollars to create custom-branded virtual experiences.

Meta plans for Horizon to have the same kind of brand-building ecosystem from day one, skipping the long growth phase of platforms like Roblox, which spent years as a kid’s game before successfully reinventing itself as a metaverse marketing channel. “I can’t tell you if Roblox ended up with this model by chance or if it was all planned,” said Margot Rodde, metaverse marketing expert and innovation lead at Mirada Studios, a TPG company. “If all of this was planned, then great, they were absolute geniuses. But I think part of that happened by chance, and now it’s becoming a reference for others entering the space.”

One problem for Horizon is that its user traffic is generally far below that of its competitors. “10,000 views is the max for a really successful experience,” said Alex Chandler, founder and creative director of creator studio Horizon Worlds. vidyuu. “There is only something like 300,000 to half a million visitors or users of the platform.” In contrast, Chipotle’s “Boorito Maze” Roblox activation nearly crashed the service after more than 30,000 users tried to access it over the course of just a few minutes last year.

Despite the relatively low traffic within Horizon, brands stand to gain millions more impressions from eye-catching VR brand activations, such as the Horizon Worlds Wendyverse promoting them through tweets, Instagram posts and YouTube videos. Horizon experiences are limited to people with Meta Quest headsets, but the social content that promotes those experiences is more accessible.

“I know we’ve had some of the world’s highest traffic on the entire platform, which is super phenomenal,” said Jimmy Bennett, Wendy’s vice president of media, social media and partnerships. “For us, the ability to also amplify this content and take images of the worlds themselves to post on some of the other Meta platforms – that’s really where you see a lot of engagement and curiosity among people who might not even be on Horizon Worlds yet.”

Horizon’s relatively low traffic is not the result of a lack of support from Meta. In October 2021, the company launched a $10 million fund intended to help creators learn how to navigate the platform. Experienced Horizon developers told Digiday that the platform’s build tools are superior to those of its competitors, in part because Horizon’s VR interface is easier to navigate than more complex programs like the Unreal Engine.

“Someone I knew in the community early on built one of the first worlds that really impressed me, and I was like, ‘Hey, my boss wants to see your resume,'” said Tim Walker, Virtual World Producer at MediaMonks. . “So we talked on the phone and he said, ‘I don’t have any experience.'” Impressed by his work, MediaMonks decided to hire the builder anyway.

As Horizon becomes an established corner of the metaverse, the relative slowness of its expansion could be a moot point. After all, acquisition, not organic growth, has formed the core of Meta’s strategy since it bought Instagram in 2012. Today’s metaverse creators are making a name for themselves within Fortnite and Roblox, but Meta could easily pay them off. to make the jump to Horizon, much more. like the company woo popular Twitch streamers led to a Facebook Gaming audience explosion last year.

If Meta continues to pump billions into Horizon development, it may only be a matter of time until Horizon’s traffic numbers rival those of Roblox and Fortnite. Brands like Wendy’s, which have partnered with Meta frequently over the past decade, certainly believe in this potential. Horizon Worlds Wendyverse’s newest expansion, Spicy Nugg Island, launched yesterday.

“Meta has just been a great media partner of ours. We’ve advertised on Facebook, Instagram, you know, a long-standing relationship with those guys,” Bennett said. “We are always looking for new and creative ways to extend that relationship.”

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