Developers who have apps or games on the Oculus Store can now sell recurring subscriptions to their titles, as opposed to offering them for a one-time fee or choosing to handle the subscription process independently. This should give developers an easier, more sustainable way to offer new content, features, and tools to paid subscribers over time. Oculus told The Verge that the approval process for apps with subscriptions is similar to apps that have in-app purchases and add-ons.
Oculus shared on its blog that starting today, FitXR, the hugely successful Rec Room, Tribe XR, Tripp, vSpatial, and VZfit are the first to begin operating on a subscription model in the Oculus Store — specifically, for the Quest platform versions of the apps. If you’ve purchased or downloaded any of these apps, you’ll keep whatever content you already have access to. Check out the blog for specifics on how each app will handle the jump to the subscription model and what perks each will offer, as they differ.
Popular VR fitness app Supernatural confirmed to The Verge that it will soon bring support for in-headset subscriptions for new members in the near future, but for now, subscriptions are handled through its site or mobile companion app.
Unlike HTC’s Xbox Game Pass-like Viveport service that offers unlimited access to a library of VR apps and games for a monthly or annual cost, the Oculus Store is sticking with per-app subscriptions for now. And don’t worry, Oculus will allow a free trial period for every subscription-based title on the store, so you can try (and cancel) before you buy, but those trial periods vary per app.
Oculus says some apps will now require a subscription to use them at all, while some will make subscribing optional. Though, it’s likely that developers will funnel most new content to subscribers instead of offering it as a free update, as popular Quest games like Beat Saber and In Death: Unchained have done with downloadable content packs, perhaps as a way to encourage in-app spending.
The VR company owned by Facebook stated in February that over 60 titles for the Quest platform are making millions of dollars with apps and games on the Oculus Store. It clearly wants to turn more apps into million-dollar stories, and subscriptions certainly seem like a way to accelerate that. When I asked if Oculus will retain a percentage of a subscription sale, the company told The Verge that it doesn’t discuss fees it collects from developers.