HTC’s fledgling virtual reality subscription service Viveport has just doubled the number of apps and games available to 150.
Tech adviser Digi-Capital projects that the VR/AR market will reach $108 billion by 2021, though there are a number of challenges to overcome to get there. Industry analysts have said that the biggest problem in VR is the lack of content, specifically must-have content that wow people enough to want to go back for more. While small game startups and big movie studios are tackling that particular problem, HTC is addressing yet another one with Viveport: discoverability.
“With Viveport Subscription, we want to give customers an easy and affordable way to experience more amazing VR content for a low monthly fee,” says Rikard Steiber, president of Viveport, in a press release.
For a monthly fee of $7, subscribers have unlimited access to five titles, which they can select from Viveport’s catalog, which includes games like Virtual Sports and creative tools like Google’s Tilt Brush. Each month, they can swap out titles or keep those that they have already chosen. Viveport’s latest content update will include titles such as ROM: Extraction, a shooter; Sairento VR, an action role-playing game set in a futuristic Japan; and Cosmic Trip, a colorful real-time strategy game. According to Meelad Sadat, director of public relations at HTC Vive, approximately half the catalog is games, and half are other VR experiences.
Shortly after launching the service in April, Viveport was seeing about 100,000 users per week, according to news site UploadVR. In addition to the new home subscription service, HTC also rolled out Viveport Arcade to power VR arcades worldwide last year, estimating that arcades will generate $100 million in revenue in 2017. For developers, both Viveport and Viveport Arcade offer monetization opportunities: Viveport has features like in-app purchases, and Viveport Arcade splits operator fees with developers.
HTC has been one of the main innovators in the VR space, offering superior room-scale experiences and providing customizable tracking tools for developers. It’s also the go-to headset for consumers who want a VR experience on their PC, outselling the Oculus Rift though it still lags behind mobile and console solutions like the PlayStation VR and Samsung Gear VR.
According to Sadat, the most popular titles on Viveport so far are:
- Fantastic Contraption, by Northway Games
- Arcade Saga, by Vive Studios
- Everest VR, by Solfar Studios
- Apollo 11 VR, by Immersive VR Education Ltd.
- TheBlu, by Wevr
- Cloudlands: VR Minigolf, by Futuretown
- Mars Odyssey, Steel Wool Games, Inc.
- Richie’s Plank Experience, by Toast
- Tilt Brush, by Google
- Firebird — La Peri, by InnerspaceVR
- Knock-out League, by Grab Games