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Microsoft President discusses metaverse economy and Meta pricing model

Minecraft
Minecraft (Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft, Meta, and other companies have differing visions for the burgeoning "metaverse" concept.
  • Meta is planning to take up to a nearly 50% cut from creators who sell content within its metaverse.
  • Microsoft President Brad Smith said he'd be "very surprised" if his company went a similar route.

It's the word on everyone's mind right now (at least, everyone in Big Tech): Metaverse. Where there's a new tech frontier, there are new ways to monetize content, and companies are starting to reveal how they plan to make money off the new dimension of technology. Microsoft President Brad Smith recently provided some insight into his company's thinking on the matter.

Speaking on CNBC's TechCheck, Smith was asked by show host Jon Fortt whether Microsoft is going to emulate Meta, which plans to impose up to a 47.5% fee (30% for sales on Quest and a 25% sales fee tacked onto the remaining amount for Meta's new Horizon Worlds metaverse platform) on creators selling goods within its metaverse ecosystem. Such a cut from Meta would leave creators with 52.5%, should Meta take the maximum amount it's currently outlined.

"I will be very surprised if you see something like that at Microsoft," Smith said. After that opening remark, he mentioned how Microsoft's view of the metaverse concept isn't monolithic, referencing the different "metaverse" sectors Microsoft already operates within, including its IVAS AR headset deal with the U.S. Army (a deal that has seen some reported road bumps). "One way you make room for developers is: You offer them a good deal," he continued, emphasizing that Microsoft is keen on attracting developers with enticing offers.

Smith's sentiment echoes Microsoft's previous amendments to its existing storefront. The company recently reduced the cut it takes from many developers as well as outlined a list of dedicated open app store principles.

Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to robert.carnevale@futurenet.com.

4 Comments
  • Looking at MS store over the last two years I believe they're right. A lot of big names apps finally got in, even as pwa. I know I'm in a minority but one of my surface pros is used as a tablet 99% of the time by my wife. She's used to iPad, so going to a website is odd for her, having an app is more appealing for people used to smartphones and other tablets. Even a PWA, a normal person doesn't know or care it's just a website. It feels like an app. Sorry for the random rant, but as a tech enthusiast I too often forget how to look at things from the average user perspective.
  • PWA is a good replacement for most social and service apps, it can improve overtime as long as laws help persuade companies and developers to provide more versatile web experiences that function no different from an app on a store. however, I think Microsoft should also continue to work and improve UWP to a point where its easier to port websites into UWP in a click as is to PWA, cause having alternatives is a good precaution and prevention method for unexpected monopolies.
  • The Metaverse thing is going to be a bust, like 3DTV. The entire industry is going all-in but there is zero indication the average consumer has any interest in the concept. VR/AR is a niche within a niche. The fact Microsoft gives VR zero attention in the gaming space should be all you need to know about how serious they take the concept outside the one market where it actually works.
  • You can charge more money for mere buzzwords? Wow, nice work if you can get it.