Oculus Treats Steam Games as “Second-Class Citizens”: Gears of War Developer
Oculus Treats Steam Games as "Second-Class Citizens": Gears of War Developer

You’d think that PC platform owners would learn following Microsoft’s shellacking at the hands of developers for its poor UWP implementation that threatens PC gaming as we know it. But if the latest slight at an audience that thrives on openness and customisation is to be believed, it was simply the first of many.

With the Oculus Rift VR headset finally available to consumers comes the Facebook-owned company’s own storefront from which you can buy games and other experiences. However with a host of VR-supported games present on other platforms like Steam, it appears you’d have to go an extra mile to get them working as they should with the Oculus Rift.

“Certain developers may create applications for Rift using the Oculus SDK that are not distributed through the Oculus platform. While Oculus allows this, applications from such developers have not been reviewed by Oculus for security, comfort, content, or health and safety. We term these applications as coming from ‘unknown sources.’Developers will need to enable this mode to build new Oculus projects,” reads the Oculus support page before going into detail on how you can enable this.

The implications of this are not too dissimilar to what Microsoft is trying to achieve with Windows 8 and 10 and has faced the brunt of developers such as Epic Games’ Tim Sweeney.

“Very disappointing. @Oculus is treating games from sources like Steam and Epic Games as second-class citizens,” Sweeney tweeted. This was followed up by asking Oculus Head of Studios Jason Rubin in what possible sense does this make Oculus an open platform as developers have to “request keys” for Oculus’ DRM.

Sweeney was not alone, Brandon Jones, a WebVR developer at Google echoed a similar sentiment. WebVR is an experimental Javascript API that provides access to VR devices via browser.

“So that really screws over WebVR. 🙁 Not quite as bad as the lockdown on GearVR, but I suspect 90% of users will never check that box,” he tweeted, referring to how Oculus’ restrictions would impact usage.

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Tags: Brandon Jones, Epic Games, Jason Rubin, Oculus Rift, Oculus Store, Oculus VR, Tim Sweeney, Virtual Reality, VR,WebVR

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