Meta’s Horizon Worlds VR social network is getting quests. No, not Quest headsets, but in-game missions with rewards that might make its experiences more entertaining to visit and more interesting to return to.
With the new quests, which are now in testing, you can complete certain tasks in a given world to earn in-game rewards like clothing for your avatar. Meta’s test takes place in an experience called Giant Mini Paddle Golf, which is set in a whimsical mini golf course where you use a paddle to whack a ball toward each hole. If you’re in the test, you can access the quests screen from a new icon you’ll see in the card with your profile picture, and when you complete a quest in that screen, you’ll get a prize.
In the case of Giant Mini Paddle Golf, completing quests like finishing the course or getting a hole-in-one will earn you various nautically-themed pieces of clothes for your avatars by doing things. But it’s easy to see how quests could be used in other experiences and offer themed rewards to match. (I suspect some the 20 new Horizon experiences Meta reportedly has in the works will be using quests in some way.) However, I’m also imagining a grim future where big brands create worlds, quests, and special items to help promote themselves in Meta’s metaverse. (Maybe Walmart’s next metaverse world will be in Horizon.)
The quests could also help Meta keep Quest headset users engaged, something that’s already proven to be a problem with Horizon Worlds. Many of the experiences featured for me in Horizon Worlds show playercounts in the single or low double digits, so quests could give players reasons to spend more time in more worlds. Quests might make Horizon Worlds experiences more interesting to a wider audience when the platform expands to web and mobile, which is expected to happen this year.