While one door closes, another door opens… Google may have just announced that it is scrapping Google Stadia, but Google Ventures is just entering the realm of VR gaming. Google Ventures, though also owned by parent company, Alphabet, operates as a separate entity from Google.
Google Ventures, which provides investment funding to promising tech companies, is now investing $12 million in SideQuest, the most well-known third-party games and apps marketplace for the Meta Quest.
Meta Quest headsets are essentially Android devices, so users can install APK files much like on an Android phone. The third-party marketplaces can therefore host various games that are not available on the Meta Quest’s native store. Previously, Quest headset owners had to jump through hoops to access Sidekick titles on their devices, but luckily there is now an official SideQuest app.
SideQuest Aids Indie Developers
Many indie game developers struggle to get their titles approved for the Meta Quest’s in-headset store. SideQuest gives these creators a place to share their content and offers VR headset users an alternative to Meta Quest’s official store.
And Meta seems content to let users access SideQuest through their headset, likely in part due to the fact that SideQuest isn’t monetized other than featuring in-store ads.
“Our relationship with Meta has been interesting; we’ve generally stayed out of each others’ way,” SideQuest co-founder Shane Harris explained to TechCrunch. “SideQuest has a huge amount of value to their headset… but we have no plans to monetize on the Quest platform in order not to compete with them.”
SideQuest also plans to add support for other VR headsets, such as the Pico 4 and is considering different ways to help VR developers using their platform monetize, such as creating new developer tools or creating a publishing fund for popular games available through the SideQuest marketplace.
SideQuest plans to use the funding from Google Ventures to double or possibly even triple the size of its team.