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HTC’s Viveport VR Subscription Service May Come to the Oculus Rift

Variety logo Variety 6/8/2017 Janko Roettgers
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HTC is considering to bring its Viveport subscription service for virtual reality (VR) content to Facebook’s Oculus Rift headset, Viveport President Rikard Steiber told Variety this week. The company doubled the number of titles available on Viveport Thursday, and tweaked its agreements with publishers to give them a bigger share of the subscription revenue.

HTC officially launched its Viveport subscription service for users of its Vive VR headset at the beginning of April. However, Steiber said this week that the company is already looking to bring subscriptions to other VR headsets, which could include Oculus Rift and possibly even Google’s Daydream platform. “We are looking to how we can bring it to other platforms as well,” Steiber said. “We will help developers publish titles across platforms.”

Viveport’s subscription service offers Vive owners access to up to five titles per month for a monthly fee of $6.99. At the end of each month, subscribers can decide to swap out titles, or hold on to them. The service launched with a few dozen titles, and grew to around 75 games and VR experiences by early June.

On Thursday, HTC announced the addition of more than 75 new titles, effectively doubling the size of the catalog. Some of the new additions include VR games like  “ROM: Extraction,” “Knockout League,” “Overkill,” “Cosmic Trip” and “Sairento VR.” HTC also added new titles from Asia to its subscription service that previously weren’t available to Western audiences.

Viveport also tweaked its agreements with publishers, changing their cut of subscription fees from 60 percent to 70 percent, which equals what Viveport is paying publishers for traditional digital downloads. Steiber said that with the new formula, roughly $5 of a user’s monthly $7 subscription fee go to publishers. In other words: Publishers gets about $1 per month from each user who downloads one of their games or experiences.

HTC launched its Viveport subscription service in part to give users a better way to try VR titles without having to pay an arm and a leg, and Steiber compared the model to Netflix and Spotify. “It’s a good way for consumers to experience much more content,” he said.

Steiber did caution that bringing the service to other VR headsets may depend on the cooperation of other companies. That could especially be true for Daydream, as Google typically doesn’t allow other companies to run their own app stores on Android. However, Rift owners can already buy their apps on other app stores in addition to the Oculus Store, which could make it easier for Viveport to take the leap.

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