The 'walled garden' approach doesn't work for all app ecosystems, but Oculus is remaining steadfast: it wants control over the quality of what it's putting in front of its users.
Oculus has outlined the process for getting an app approved for the Quest, the new VR headset set to launch this spring. In a blog post yesterday, the company described a “quality first” approach to Quest store curation.
“High-quality, innovative titles tend to be expensive to build, and developers need confidence that they are shipping into an ecosystem that will generate a return on investment,” the post reads. “We've set a high bar for content quality on Quest, higher than we've ever enforced before, in order to build a platform where everyone has confidence in the quality of the titles they're buying and developers know that their investments have a strong chance of success.”
In order for an app published on the Quest, it must first go through a rigorous screening process. Developers are expected to present a concept document to Oculus for review before it’s even considered for the Quest store. Once approved, the developer will gain access to the “store submission process and non-public development resources.”
“We're looking for evidence of quality and probable market success, and alignment to our Oculus Developer Content Guidelines,” the post says. “The concept submission process is a chance for developers to show us not only how cool their title will be, but also to explain how it will resonate with the Quest audience.”
The process for getting a game approved for the Quest is far more rigorous than the Rift and Go, Oculus’ other VR sets. The blog post, written by Chris Pruett, says that the company learned a lot from its previous platforms, and is utilizing that experience for the Quest store.
When Oculus announced the Quest in September it was clear that the company was gunning for a more game-centered audience. It’s easy to feel trepidation when a company insists on having this much control over the marketplace, but the new process is in line with Oculus’ vision for the Quest. A more stringent curation process is also likely part of an effort to avoid the bloat of other marketplaces and target core gamers more tenaciously.
The VR space has been primed for a grand mainstream entrance for years now, but getting over that hump has been a bit of a struggle thus far. With the Quest, Oculus is hoping a highly-curated and focused launch lineup can tip the scales a bit. It’s a respectable enough approach, but hopefully it doesn’t hinder the creative process for developers too much.
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