Google Is Betting On The SideQuest VR App Store

Google Ventures’ M.G. Siegler will be joining the company’s board.

TechCrunch reports that Google Ventures—the investment arm of Alphabet—is investing a whopping $12 million in SideQuest as part of a recent Series A funding investment. The news comes just a few days after the company announced plans to shutter its cloud-based gaming platform Google Stadia less than four years after its initial reveal.

“We feel the time is right, and the SideQuest team has potential to be a leader in this sector that finally feels primed for prime time,” said Google Ventures’ M.G. Siegler in an official blog update. “The company’s ultimate goal is to become a main hub and software layer for the broader XR ecosystem.”

SideQuest is an independent VR app store catering specifically to Meta Quest and Meta Quest 2 headsets. Here players can browse a growing catalog of VR games and apps that have yet to receive Quest Store approval. As a result, the app has become a valuable tool for smaller developers looking to showcase their work. We’ve seen a number of popular VR games and apps get their start on the platform, such as Gorilla Tag and Lambda1VR, with more being added every day.

Since its initial launch, the platform has grown to include new games and apps, additional headset settings, and various other improvements. The platform can even be accessed directly from your Quest headset, streamlining the VR sideloading process even further by allowing you to download games and apps without the need of a PC or Android smartphone.

In addition to the Series A investment, Google Ventures’ M.G. Siegler will be joining SideQuest’s board, further cementing the company’s commitment to the 3rd-party app store. Moving forward, it’ll be interesting to see just how involved Google becomes.

Last year, Meta launched App Lab, a similar service dedicated to VR games and apps deemed too unpolished for the Quest Store. Since then SideQuest creators Shane and Orla Harris have managed to co-exist peacefully with App Lab. The platform even features a category catering specifically to App Lab games and apps.

“Despite the years of development and money spent, much still needs to be built and proven out in the worlds of VR, AR, and XR overall,” added M.G. Siegler. “But the existence of SideQuest, alongside all of the other incredible and accelerating software and hardware development going on in the space right now, with many likely key inflection points just around the corner, has us believing our eyes this time.”

SideQuest is available free to download on Meta Quest, PC, Mac, and Android smartphones. For more information visit here.

Image Credit: SideQuest

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