The Viveport software development kit (SDK) now features support for in-app purchases (IAPs), leaderboards, achievements, and many other functionalities meant to improve the overall user experience and monetization options of contemporary virtual reality products developed for the Vive headset, HTC announced on Friday, adding that its VR Ad SDK is also slated to receive a major update. As of the Viveport SDK version 1.5.1, developers can take advantage of native support for user statistics, achievements, and profiles that bundle that data together, in addition to using the devkit for quickly implementing leaderboards and IAPs into their games and other apps. Apart from allowing developers to monetize their creations in new ways, all of the new additions to the Viveport SDK are also intended to help them improve user engagement rates, HTC said. While the newly added support for the aforementioned functionalities currently only works with games powered by the Unity Engine, HTC's VR unit is also working on adding support for the Unreal Engine. The screenshot below shows an example of how Viveport SDK's new leaderboard feature works in practice as it depicts an in-game leaderboard of Arcade Saga, a recently released action game for the Vive.
Regarding HTC's new VR Ad Service, the platform now supports a new ad type that users can interact with without breaking immersion. The Taiwanese tech giant said the format was developed with the goal of maximizing ad revenue and will be released globally in the future, though it's currently only available in games and apps that are retailed in China. It's currently unclear when HTC's immersive ad format will launch worldwide, but more information on the matter will likely follow soon. Likewise, the company promised that both its Viveport SDK and VR Ad SDK are set to receive major new features and improvements in the near future.
Earlier this month, HTC celebrated the first anniversary of the Vive headset with a number of attractive promotions, vowing to grow its VR ecosystem even further in an effort to increase the popularity of this emerging technology that's still at least several years away from mainstream adoption, industry watchers believe. An update on the company's VR-related ambitions is expected to follow later this year.