Valve’s iconic Steam marketplace is an absolutely massive library of all the games and applications a gamer could ever want. It’s only logical then, that Valve and HTC would choose Steam to be the hub of everything Vive, giving developers the opportunity to host their experiences on what is arguably the most successful gaming platform of all time. Oculus, in comparison, hosts it’s own store with content strictly based on its own virtual reality headset. While one could argue that the store creates an experience more geared towards the discovery of virtual reality applications, the platform’s recognition is just not as abundant, and it will take a bit longer before users head straight to to Oculus to find games that might not be available on Vive.
It should be no surprise then, that developers are flocking to Steam to publish new content for HTC and Valve’s Vive headset. In a recent network industry report, 49% of VR developers said they were creating titles for Vive, while only 43% have been working on content for the Oculus Rift. While this gap might not seem that huge, when asked what platform the next title they were making would be, 35% of developers said Vive while only 23% said they were planning on choosing Oculus’ Rift for future development.
There are quite a few reasons for this divide, one being the temporary incentives Oculus has offered developers to create platform exclusive titles. The company has openly stated that is has offered a substantial amount of money to those that will create these titles, meaning there are likely more than a few developers who are planning on creating Oculus content before jumping ship to try out the hardware HTC has to offer.
While Valve has stated that they will provide funding for virtual reality content as well, part of the company’s policy is that it must be completely open, and free of platform exclusivity. This is great news for developers, as it means it can produce experiences that are available on the Vive, Rift, and even platforms such as Gear VR and Google Daydream. While taking the funding from Oculus is great for those looking to kick-start their VR development career, the call of room-scale and motion control is quite enticing, and adds an additional layer for developers to use in order to make their experiences that much more immersive.
While not all developers are looking to stay with VR as a platform for development, many of them have faith in virtual reality’s potential. In the same survey previously mentioned, developers were asked if they believed VR would have a sustainable audience in the future, in which 96% answered yes. This is great news, as we have already seen an explosion of content coming from studios all around the globe, which means there is a high probability that we could see repeat titles from most of these developers in the future.
Which headset are you more interested in? Looking forward to the future of VR? Let us know your thoughts.