Gear VR Store is a place where many Oculus developers submit their work and hope for it to be accepted. Not everyone gets in as devs must meet Gear VR store requirements. They want to maintain a quality standard so they can provide the best of VR content to gamers.
Unfortunately, there is a flaw in the system one that may not seem like a major problem but for a small indie dev it is completely unacceptable and frustrating.
Once you submit your project to Gear VR Store it is sent for review and when that is done, you receive an email letting you know about the future of your game. It’ll either get in or be rejected.
Your game can be rejected for any number reasons as the Store is under no obligation to publish this content. Although you are provided with a list of things you should keep in consideration before submitting, it isn’t guaranteed access.
Being rejected isn’t the problem but devs aren’t being told of the reasons why there project is rejected. A small scale developer who creates a game and keeps every point into consideration but still, his game isn’t accepted.
Such a developer will naturally feel conflicted over whether he should continue working on his game or move on to something else or may be a different platform.
Developer of a game called “Hippie Slayer” is currently experiencing the same conflict.
I had already made sure my game met all the Gear VR best practices and publishing requirements. The game runs at a constant 60fps on my Note 4 and never overheats. So, I modified the UI and the behavior of some objects around the camera to be even more “safe” and then submitted a second build.
The application curiously changed status from “Under Review” to “Changes Requested” twice in two days without any further email. As a “walled garden” with no other real distribution outlet, I have just spent 4 months of my life developing an experience that I cannot sell or share with anyone else without explanation.
With this poor approach to developer relations and lack of guidance, the Gear VR and Oculus platform will struggle from both the consumer and developer ends of the spectrum.
The range of experiences available to Gear VR players (particularly from independent developers) will be lacking, and developers will move on to different platforms that help and encourage distribution of content.
Hippie Slayer is a game about playing a Riot Officer attacking protesters outside U.S Gov’t buildings. Gameplay footage is available on YouTube.
If I put it bluntly, his game comes off as “amature” and a little offensive. However, if we are OK with Grand Theft Auto why not Hippie Slayer? Like I mentioned, reasons for rejections aren’t the problem, lack of explanation is.
This is just one reported case, there could be plenty of other developers who are just being kept in the dark about why there game isn’t being accepted.
As a gamer, it may be hard to understand and easy to say “his game isn’t good enough and this isn’t an issue worth raising,” but as a developer who is spending money he does not have on a game, you have the right to know why you’re not getting in.
We hope Gear VR Store takes the time to properly explain such matters to developers of VR content.