Facebook ‘thinking about’ opening Quest to apps outside the Oculus Store
Facebook’s Chris Pruett gave details on the Oculus Store curation policy for Oculus Quest in a Twitter thread, along with teasing a potential official way for distributing Oculus Quest apps outside of the Oculus Store.
The entire thread from the director of content ecosystem at Facebook’s Oculus is as follows:
Focus on polish & quality for Quest has driven real developer success. We’ve found that honest, actionable feedback requires more than a form letter or a checklist of things to fix devs are most successful when we have an ongoing relationship over the course of development.
That’s part of the reason we ask first for a concept document, rather than a playable build, for the Concept Approval title on Quest. We want to give early signal before the developer has spent significant resources on a project.
We designed Oculus Start/Launch Pad to incubate and support devs, which is why we sometimes recommend it to concepts we’ve declined. These programs are made to nurture promising devs and to provide support and resources to grow their work. https://developer.oculus.com/oculus-start
We also understand that many devs and enthusiasts are looking for easier ways to access and distribute applications outside of the Oculus Store. This is an area we’re actively thinking about (more to share soon!)
Also, welcome, @diempuntoes to Oculus Start! We’re excited to work with you!
The thread seems to be in response to the recent reaction that surrounded Facebook’s second rejection of Crisis VRigade despite over 72,000 downloads from SideQuest.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the thread is that Facebook is considering a non-store route for distributing Oculus Quest applications. At the moment, SideQuest is the best alternative for users who wish to easily sideload nonapproved content to their Quest. The thread from Pruett could be teasing some kind of official SideQuest alternative, enabling developers and enthusiasts to sideload content onto their Quest which has not been approved or been through the Oculus curation policy. Or perhaps we might see the introduction of Early Access apps to the Oculus Store?
Some developers have even released paid content onto the SideQuest store, such as the developers of To The Top. The game, initially published on PC VR, was rejected for Quest but recently published as a paid app on SideQuest. The success of the SideQuest release has since encouraged the developers to continue work on a sequel to To The Top, knowing that there is an alternative to the Oculus Store curation process.
With Facebook now teasing an alternative solution of its own, one big question is what might become of SideQuest.