Way back in September Rec Room announced that they were working on a way for users to earn cash by selling their in-game content. Now, a little over two months later, they have gone part of the way to making that a reality.
In a recent update for the game they have given premium users the ability to sell their own in-game content for tokens that can be used inside Rec Room. This is only available for users who pay the $8 per month subscription fee. They already have access to gated content like more slots for avatar outfits, in-game discounts, and a monthly bonus of 6,000 tokens. Now, they can start generating more tokens by hawking their wares.
This content is created with the Maker Pen, an in-game item that gives users the ability to make in-game items and scenery. Premium users can put their items up for sale a charge between 100 and 10,000 tokens (Around $15 cash). They can also sell keys, which can be used to unlock multiple items or experiences in rooms. The items up for grab include avatar outfits, decorative objects, weapons, furniture, gameplay circuits, and skins for the user’s private ‘dorm room’.
This is a step forward but there is no way to convert tokens back to actual money. This falls significantly short of the goal that the developers set for themselves. The company even claimed that Rec Room creators could “support themselves” with the money they earned. Right now, the cash is only flowing one way, no-one is making money but Rec Room.
This is still uncharted territory for VR developers. There are plenty of non-VR titles that support this sort of payment system but the relatively small userbase of VR hardware may not be sustainable for this sort of business. They have around 30,000 – 50,000 monthly users compare that to CS:GO which allows for the selling and trading of skins, they have around 20 million monthly users and 580,000 concurrent users at any time. It’s clear that Rec Room, and VR as a whole, has a long way to go before they catch up.