Sidequest is an unofficial app store that allows creators the ability to sideload apps on the Quest. This helps developers distribute apps and games without being subject to the official approval process of Facebook’s Oculus team.
The husband and wife team behind the store, Shane and Orla Harris, have received funding from Oculus founder Palmer Lucky, and start-up investment firm BoostVC.
In a prepared statement for Techcrunch Palmer Lucky wrote that, “No HMD manufacturer should have a stranglehold on the VR ecosystem or unilateral control over what people run on their VR headsets, and when I look at Sidequest, I see the spirit of Oculus Share,”.
Sidequest is often used as an experimental testing ground for developers, after Facebook announced that they would take a more curated approach to the official Oculus app store, many untested and unpolished VR projects were not likely to appear on the Oculus Quest.
With the new funding, Sidequest may become the unofficial early access distribution system for the Oculus Quest. Shane Harris has made it clear that the company does not want to compete with the official Quest store but instead, offer extra tools and resources for developers and a new style of marketplace for VR hobbyists.
Unfortunately, the foundation of Sidequest is built on the sideloading and developer functions of the Oculus Quest, if Facebook decides to lockdown these functions that could spell the end for the company. Facebook have already started to roll out their own developer backend system, Oculus Developer Hub. It is designed to make it easier and quicker to develop and distribute on the Oculus Quest. What will happen to the smaller, hobbyist developers and unofficial app stores after Facebook starts to crack down on them?