Viveport Subscriptions To Feature Free Trial Month, First Apps Revealed

by Jamie Feltham • February 24th, 2017

Earlier this week we wrote about how HTC Viveport’s upcoming subscription service could push acceptance of shorter VR experiences. Now it appears that service is prepping for launch.

Variety is reporting that VR developers can now submit their applications to feature as part of the service, which will launch within the coming weeks. Viveport President Rikard Steiber told the site that HTC has seen more than 14,000 VR enthusiasts register their interest for the plan, signing up to be notified about it. But here’s the most intriguing part of the company’s plan for its subscription; everyone will get their first month free.

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That means you’ll have access to an entire month of free games and experiences featured on Viveport, though not everything that’s already featured on the store will be included. Steiber said that “a handful” of apps would be available to download and use at the same time, and once you’re finished with one you’ll be able to trade it in in exchange for another download. Developers will be getting a 60 percent cut of the subscription revenue, while HTC reportedly takes the remaining 40 percent. It’s not clear how that 60 percent will be divided between developers, so we’ve reached out to the company to find out more.

A price for the plan has not yet been announced. Current apps set to appear on the service include Mars Odyssey, a Viveport Developer Awards winner from Steel Wool Games, Remembering Pearl Harbor and Lumen from Time, and Arcade Artist from Groove Jones.

HTC will be pushing the service next week at the 2017 Game Developers Conference and Mobile World Congress. It may be that we find out the final price there. The company apparently sees the subscription as a promotional tool for developers; they could choose to first launch an app on the service to gain exposure, then sell it later, or sell first and add it to the plan get get more money later on.

Depending on the final price of the service this could be a great way to get more people engaging with more VR content, and add an extra source of revenue for developers. Last week Vive co-creator Valve said that only 30 of 1,300 VR apps on Steam had made over $250,000, so it’s important to developers to seek other means of income for their apps beyond a single digital storefront. To that end, they might also look to HTC’s Viveport Arcade plan, which offers a similar approach to granting access to apps for location-based VR.

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