Everyone’s favorite indie store front raises $650K in funding.
If you own an Oculus Quest headset than chances are you’ve heard of SideQuest, an immensely popular VR app store that allows independent developers a chance to showcase games and apps that have been rejected for publishing on the Oculus Store due to the company’s notoriously strict application system.
Though the project began as a sort of island for misfit apps, the platform has quickly expanded into a full-fledged store complete with both free and paid apps, customer reviews, badge systems, wishlists, even developer awards. Creators Shane and Orla Harris sought to provide an alternative to Oculus’ carefully-curated storefront, one that didn’t require users to jailbreak their devices; users simply need to set their headset to Developer Mode, a quick and easy process.
While speaking to TechCrunch, co-founder Orla Harris stated that roughly 800 new apps have launched on the SideQuest platform within the span of just six months. All this success has caught the attention of some big names within the industry. In an effort to expand their team, the Harris’ recently participated in the BoostVC accelerator, raising an impressive $650,000 towards hiring engineers, a community manager, and a designer.
Among these investors is Palmer Luckey, the original founder of Oculus VR. According to TechCrunch, SideQuest aligns with Luckey’s grand vision of an open VR ecosystem in which no one company maintains a “stranglehold” on the industry: “No HMD manufacturer should have a stranglehold on the VR ecosystem or unilateral control over what people run on their VR headsets, and when I look at Sidequest, I see the spirit of Oculus Share.”
Unlike the official Oculus Store, developers who release their games and apps on SideQuest receive 100% of the cut. Add in the ability to crowdsource game testing without the fear of rejection, and you have one hell of an attractive platform for independent developers.
Image Credit: SideQuest