Facebook found a curious middle ground for Oculus Quest curation this week with the launch of App Lab, but the feature doesn’t secure developers a ‘guaranteed path’ to the main Oculus Store.
So says John Carmack, who tweeted about the launch of App Lab earlier this week. App Lab is a means for developers to launch experimental and early access content on the headset — either for free or at a cost — without passing the strict guidelines for the full Oculus Store. Previously, developers either had to pass Facebook’s tight curation policy or instead launch on SideQuest, where their app could be sideloaded. With App Lab, you can install an app without sideloading so long as you have the link to it on the Oculus Store – you won’t find it by browsing the main store.
Success on App Lab is not a guaranteed path to the main store, but I resolve to mock anyone internally that doesn’t follow the data.
— John Carmack (@ID_AA_Carmack) February 2, 2021
It’s possible that developers will see success via this new means of distribution, then, but Carmack cautioned doing so wouldn’t allow them to bypass the usual Quest curation. That said, he pledged to fight the good fight for anyone that did find success.
Quest’s tight curation policy isn’t going anywhere, then. It will be interesting to see how App Lab helps offset any frustration from developers moving forward, though.
App Lab’s first 12 submissions do include titles that were previously rejected from sale on the Oculus Store, including both Crisis VRigade titles.
Are you going to be checking out any App Lab projects this weekend? Make sure to follow our guide to finding and installing apps and let us know what you think in the comments below!