XR Today explores brand-new Horizons on Meta’s latest Metaverse app launch
Closing the week, Meta has once again updated its Metaverse platform by debuting its highly-anticipated ‘Horizon Worlds’ multiplayer app, just months after the Menlo Park-based firm announced it would work towards becoming a Metaverse company.
Horizon Worlds is only available for users in the United States (US) and Canada over 18 years of age, and Meta has not confirmed any details concerning a global rollout. Meta made Horizon Worlds available as a beta for selected users earlier in the year.
Horizon Worlds is a social virtual reality (VR) Metaverse app that hosts a number of custom games and experiences. By playing Horizon Worlds, Quest 2 users can access a growing selection of immersive experiences under one roof.
Users can also navigate interactive Horizon Worlds Metaverse environments to find and enjoy immersive multiplayer experiences.
The news comes after Meta launched a $10 million USD fund to encourage VR content creators to develop multiplayer experiences for Horizon Worlds in October, with highly positive results.
Exploring ‘Thousands of Worlds’
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta Inc, announced Horizon Worlds at its Connect Event in October, and at this year’s event, Zuckerberg revealed Facebook’s rebrand to Meta along with Quest 2 business tools, communication platforms, advanced VR avatars, and the Horizon suite of Metaverse apps.
Zuckerberg also unveiled new details about Horizon Workrooms, Venues, and Home.
Users on Horizon Worlds can jump in and start creating VR content without leaving their Quest 2 headset. Meta is supporting creators at all levels with a selection of resources to guide creators through scripting and publishing Metaverse-based content.
So, what is already on offer in Horizon Worlds? Lets take a look.
Firstly, World Hop is a randomised selection of immersive multiplayer mini-games where groups of up to four players can compete in immersive VR experiences to drive friendly competition between peers.
Additionally, when players complete a set of mini-games, they can compare their performance in a virtual trophy room.
Following the successes of popular Meta Quest action adventure titles such as Pavlov or Resident Evil 4, Meta is offering a more accessible and family friendly multiplayer shooter on Horizon Worlds.
Users work together on Arena Clash to learn every map and master every weapon, and “communication is key” as players must effectively talk to peers to outscore the opposing team.
Additionally, Horizon Worlds is more than just a multiplayer gaming suite, but also a VR content-creation ecosystem allowing users to develop and distribute custom creations on the Horizons platform.
As part of its launch, Meta is featuring small-scale, bespoke experiences such as:
- Action Island TEAMS: A combat island game that can host various competitive multiplayer game modes.
- Ice Cream Frenzy: A simple falling object game, where users catch ice cream in VR.
- Pixel Plummet: This is a ‘vaporware’ style environment that simulates s a real-world video game arcade with an immersive Metaverse twist.
- Wand & Broom: A unique gamified way to explore the Metaverse. The experience enables users to ride a flying broomstick to explore Horizon Worlds and even race against friends or rivals.
- Mark’s Riverboat: This social environment slows things down a bit with a relaxing boat ride that people can enjoy with friends. Users can find their own space on the three-storey boat to have private conversations with friends, family, or even coworkers.
More from Meta
The news comes after, Meta unveiled ‘Horizon Workrooms,’ a VR platform for enterprise-grade remote collaboration. Currently, Workrooms is in beta, although Meta has updated the platform.
This week, Meta introduced a selection of new features to Horizon Workrooms such as new virtual office spaces, customisable options, and new collaboration tools.
The news follows a Meta employment drive to hire roughly 10,000 engineers across the European Union to assist in creating the Horizon Metaverse.
Meta’s Quest version 35 update also debuted mixed reality (MR) casting to the VR headset, and comes as Meta unveils upcoming tools to enable MR application development and distribution on its hardware.
The Meta Quest is becoming a powerful tool for enterprise-grade VR remote communication with many useful applications already available on its storefront.