Meta’s long-in-the-works mobile version of Horizon Worlds, its VR metaverse social platform, may finally launch soon, according to Friday’s Lowpass newsletter from Janko Roettgers.
We’ve been aware of Meta working on a mobile version of Horizon Worlds, the company’s metaverse social platform that is currently only available on its Quest VR devices, for quite some time, but it’s still not here. Apparently, the company had built a working version last year, but “we ended up not shipping it,” Vishal Shah, Meta’s metaverse VP, said in an interview with Roettgers. “It was a little bit too much of a VR game on mobile as opposed to a mobile-native experience.”
Shah didn’t tell Roettgers exactly when the app will be available on mobile, though. And I won’t be confident in an imminent release until Meta actually gives a specific timeline; at the end of January, Meta itself said the app would be coming to mobile and the web “soon,” but it’s still not here yet. Meta didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment on timing for the mobile and web apps.
Meta has a new in-Horizon game, Super Rumble
Shah did tell Roettgers that Super Rumble, a shooter game Meta just officially launched inside Horizon Worlds, will be among the first games beta tested for the platform on mobile. That game apparently looks much nicer than most experiences on the platform due to the fact that it “has been built with imported objects, assets and textures, something that wasn’t previously possible with Horizon,” Roettgers says. The ability to bring over imported assets will apparently be available to hand-picked developers to start and rolled out more widely down the line.
Horizon Worlds hasn’t yet been a huge hit for Meta. In October, CNBC reported that the platform had less than 200,00 users; Meta’s newly-launched Threads, on the other hand, surpassed 100 million users within days. That’s not even close to an apples-to-apples comparison — Threads is a free app for smartphones, while Horizon Worlds currently requires a Quest VR headset — but it goes to show just how different the scale is between the two platforms right now. (Meta’s metaverse work remains a money sink, with the company reporting a net loss of $3.7 billion for its Reality Labs division last quarter.)
A mobile version of Horizon Worlds could help Meta better compete with Fortnite and Roblox, which similarly let creators build social games and experiences. Interestingly, as Horizon Worlds is looking to mobile, Roblox is looking more at VR; Roblox just launched in open beta on Quest headsets on Thursday.