HTC's app store for the HTC Vive virtual reality headset was announced last summer under the name of HTC Viveport, and was soon introduced in certain markets including China, where the company also wants to revive the concept of arcade gaming through so-called Vive VR Cafes. Yesterday at CES 2017, HTC made a new unveiling regarding its app store, and announced a subscription service for the Viveport platform, all the while expanding its services for enterprise VR consumers and arcade operators with business-to-business storefronts.
Needless to say, HTC Viveport is the place to go for HTC Vive owners who want to acquire new virtual reality titles. By introducing a subscription service for the Viveport platform, HTC intends to address "how fast the library of VR content has grown" and help customers navigate the growing marketplace in order to discover new applications for a low monthly fee. According to the Taiwanese tech giant, creators of virtual reality content can choose to include products in the new subscription service, but can also continue distributing their applications as standalone products "giving them an additional revenue channel". Not an "alternative" revenue channel, but an "additional" one, so whether or not this means that content creators can charge a one-time purchase fee as well as a subscription fee for a specific title is unclear. Either way, President of Viveport Rikard Steiber added that HTC is happy to allow virtual reality fans to "discover and consume" virtual reality content through subscription services in a similar fashion as they do with other mediums including music, films, and television. No details regarding the subscription fee have been revealed.
In addition to the subscription service for HTC Viveport, the company also announced at CES that it will launch dedicated VR app stores for enterprise customers and arcade operators later this year. The HTC Viveport Arcade platform introduced last November will take advantage of a digital, dedicated business-to-business storefront for distributing VR content to businesses worldwide, allowing arcade operators to curate the content they wish to provide to their customers. The platform will also support developers who wish to create VR applications and professional tools in areas including architecture, medicine, design, workforce training and 3D modeling.