Oculus Quest (2) Now Supports App Subscriptions
Virtual reality developers with games and apps on the Oculus Store are now able to sell recurring subscriptions of their titles instead of simply providing the app experience as a one-time fee or option to independently process these VR app subscriptions. As a result, VR developers now have access to an easier and more sustainable way of monetizi9ng new content, features as well as tools to paid subscribers. According to Oculus, the approvals process for VR apps with subscriptions will still be the same as that of the apps with add-ons and in-app purchases.
Facebook has introduced app subscription for the Oculus Quest platform. This offers plenty of benefits for both users and developers.
Until now, Quest users could only purchase apps and DLCs for Oculus Quest. Now Oculus has introduced app subscriptions that gives developers a new monetization channel for their content in the Quest Store.
Previously, Quest users had to pay monthly app fees on external platforms, independent of the platform, an additional and convoluted process that has probably deterred a fair share of users from taking out a subscription which sees developers losing considerably in potential revenues.
The integration of the subscription models in the Quest Store offers advantages for both sides. Quest users can take out subscriptions directly in the store while developers now have a new monetization channel that they can tap into to ramp up their revenues sustainably. This ultimately benefits the growth of the ecosystem.
In a press release, Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg wrote that virtual reality is currently growing beyond gaming and is conquering new territories such as social apps, fitness, creativity, and productivity. According to Zuckerberg, app subscriptions could be closer to the business models of such applications and could help developers better monetize their content.
The First Subscription Apps
The first VR titles to support the new subscription payment model include the fitness app FitXR, the creative metaverse Rec Room, the DUJ program Tribe XR, meditation app Tripp, the collaboration platform vSpatial, and the bike simulation VZFit.
The popular virtual reality fitness app Supernatural also confirmed that it would soon introduce support for in-headset subscriptions for its new members. For the time being, subscriptions will be handled via its site or through a mobile companion app.
How the subscription is implemented differs from app to app. Some apps can only be used with a subscription while others only activate additional content and features as soon as you take out a subscription. Anyone who has purchased app content before will keep it, even where the respective app has switched to the subscription model.
Facebook also allows developers to offer time-limited, free trial versions of their subscription software. These can be cancelled at any time so that no fees are incurred after the trial period has elapsed. Check out the Oculus support page for more information and details on the app subscriptions.
According to Oculus, some apps will only be usable via a subscription while other apps will have an optional subscription. To make the most of this new feature, developers will likely funnel most of their new content to subscribers instead of providing these as free updates as seen in popular games on Quest such as Beat Saber and In Death: Unchained which offer users downloadable content packs, perhaps as an incentive to encourage users to spend in-app.
In February this year, Facebook revealed that more than 60 titles on the Quest platform had grossed more than a million dollars on the Oculus Store. The company is now keen on turning more apps into million-dollar success stories and it looks like it will be using subscriptions to catalyze this. It isn’t clear whether or how much Facebook will collect a percentage from the subscription sales.