Meta Retiring Venues App & Building Events Into Horizon Worlds

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Meta is moving events from Horizon Venues to the Horizon Worlds platform and shutting down the original app in June.

The move effectively cuts off the original Oculus Quest from access to the company’s own social VR spaces just three years after the headset first went on sale.

Horizon Worlds is a shared network of user generated spaces the company is supporting with prizes, training, and a test to pay creators. While Horizon Worlds launched on Quest 1, support for the headset was pulled in January this year. Currently, Meta only grants access to users with Facebook accounts who are age 18 or older and living in the United States or Canada. While Meta is bringing Horizon Worlds to more devices and more countries, as of this writing it only runs on Quest 2 and Rift.

The Venues app — originally Oculus Venues and then later Horizon Venues — was host to a series of social VR watch parties for a range of events from concerts to sports, with a recent Foo Fighters concert streamed in Venues after the Super Bowl plagued by technical issues. Now Venue’s calendar of events will continue inside Horizon Worlds where people can “jump between a game world to a hang out space—then head right into a big show with your friends,” as a Meta blog post notes.

“People over 18 in the US 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,” the post notes. “If you’re not in the US or Canada, are 13 – 17 years of age, and/or are on Quest 1, you’ll lose access to Venues programming when the standalone Venues app goes away on June 6, though you’ll still be able to catch highlights and replays of Venues events in Oculus TV.”

Meta executives have said they’ll be cutting the requirement that its headsets need a Facebook account to use them, but we haven’t had a recent update on how precisely that will work. The company is preparing a high-end VR headset to launch later this year currently known as Project Cambria and plans to invest $10+ billion annually in building out efforts to become a leading provider of wearable computers.