Chinese company ByteDance, parent company of popular short video service TikTok, is offering cash rewards for developing apps for its Pico VR headsets, according to online sources. Among other things, we are talking about the developers who have created software for Meta’s Oculus VR headsets.* platforms. About it writes The Wall Street Journal, citing its own informed sources.
The Chinese company’s willingness to offer further incentives to developers underscores Meta’s intensifying competition* in the field of virtual reality. According to people familiar with the matter, ByteDance has offered a number of studios between $15,000 and $25,000 per game for its VR headset. Both companies are looking for software developers who can create in-demand apps and games that will be critical in attracting new users to the virtual space. They will likely be joined soon by Apple, which is said to be releasing its VR headset later this year.
According to the source, some developers of virtual reality applications have expressed dissatisfaction with the way Meta works* reviews products before they are released in their Quest headset content store. In the past year alone, Mark Zuckerberg’s company spent approximately $16 billion developing the Metaverse, which has become a central part of the Meta strategy.*. So it’s not surprising that the company carefully reviews apps before they’re accepted into the Quest Store. However, the developers note that the application process lacks clear instructions and regulations, so they anticipate the appearance of competitors on the market.
“It’s definitely exciting to see a big company step up and challenge the way Facebook works.*»said Ben Outram, founder of Squinle Studios, which develops the VR puzzle game Squinle and has been waiting for the app’s release on the Quest Store since its launch in July 2021.
Among the games available on Quest devices, only one has become a real hit. We’re talking about Beat Saber, which raked in $255 million last October, according to the Meta Report* states that Beat Saber, acquired in 2019, was played by 1.47 million monthly users. In October, it was one of 14 Quest headset games to gross over $20 million. In total, about 500 VR games are available in the Quest Store. As of February this year, the number of apps that have earned more than $1 million surpassed 200 units, up 44% from the result for the same period last year. As of October, Quest had a monthly user base of 6.37 million.
According to research firm IDC, Quest headset shipments fell more than 90% in the fourth quarter of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021. At the same time, shipments of ByteDance’s Pico headsets increased by 110%. IDC estimates that 290,000 Pico units shipped in the fourth quarter of last year, slightly less than the 310,000 Quest headsets that Meta shipped.* for the same period.
ByteDance bought business VR headset manufacturer Pico in 2021. After that, the company’s products were refocused on the consumer market. Pico headsets are currently available in Europe and Asia, but not in the US. The Pico 4, which went on sale last fall, costs about $470. At the same time, the Quest 2 headset with the same storage capacity costs $ 400.
* It is included in the list of public associations and religious organizations for which the court made a final decision to liquidate or ban activities on the grounds provided for in Federal Law No. 114-FZ of July 25. 2002 “On Countering Extremist Activities”.