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Prolonged Quest: Rejected Oculus Quest Games

Reading Time: 8 minutes

By all measure, the Oculus Quest has been a resounding success, bringing into the fold gamers and non-gamers alike of every age and walk of life. By knocking down the barriers of price, mobility, and the stigmas inherent to conventional video games, Oculus has cultivated a customer base hungry for content.

Launching with fifty applications (not all of them games) a scant seven weeks ago, Oculus has been slowly adding new titles to its ever-growing list with the promise of a hundred titles available by years end, but the fervour and pure exuberance for more quality games only build with each passing day. Users frustrated with Oculus’ strict curation practices have been voicing their opinions across social media in an attempt to convince Oculus to change course or at the very least, to loosen the reins a bit. Some have even gone the extra step of sideloading non-approved games into their Quests.

Bizarrely, several games available on other VR systems, Oculus Rift and Oculus Go included, have been rejected for publication on the Quest even though they appear to be as fun and entertaining as any currently on the storefront. While there have been many arguments made for and against what Oculus is doing, the aim of this article is to showcase some of these games. The developer’s thoughts on why they were rejected and where you can play them today or in the near future.

Sights: VR Hiking

“Hiking, exploration, climbing. Discover gorgeous sights in this realistic, open world hiking simulator. Equipped with a map and a compass, you will explore hiking trails, climb cliffs, and swing from ropes as you scout out new areas and paths for the ultimate outdoor experience. Set up campsites to save your spot in 3 massive open world environments from dense forests, snowy mountains, and bustling rivers. Countless hours, challenges, and activities to do from geocaching to zip lining.”

Why do you think your game was rejected?

We think the game was rejected for financial reasons. Although they didn’t outright say it, they suggested we release on Rift instead. This, along with the current catalogue of games on Quest, leads me to believe they want to see sales data and have good faith in a well-performing title before they accept games.

Are you still trying to get it on Quest?

Yes, we are currently developing for all platforms, and plan to bring sales data to them in a second pitch to see if they reconsider. If not, we will sell an APK on our website.

Where can folks play the game now?

Currently, there are no public builds available, but we will be providing demos for testing later in development. For updates on this, you can sign up for our newsletter at https://www.blueentropystudios.com/

Crisis VRigade

“Crisis VRigade is a virtual reality action filled first person shooter that lets players take on the role of a SWAT trooper and deal with a hostage situation in a bank robbery. Duty calls! You’re put in the middle of the action. It’s a dirty job but someone has to do it. Together with a SWAT team you will have to deal with the situation and take care of the terrorists who are robbing the bank. Your mission is crystal clear: finish off all hostile elements and keep your teammates and hostages alive. Make your way through the bank to the safe where the terrorist have made a stronghold and threaten to kill the hostages if their demands are not met.

Be aware of your ammunition and take cover while reloading your gun or you will be exposed and the mission over: maybe you see the bullet comming, maybe you didn’t, but the terrorist got away and your partners now have the unpleasant task of giving the bad news to your nearest relative. Everyone counts on you and your first-of-the-class aim. You got the highest rates at the academy, it’s time to prove it!”

Why do you think your game was rejected?

Don’t know, we only submit a PDF with the game concept showing that is already working on other platforms with good reviews from players. So it was not about performance, game polishing or any other tech issue. Maybe it’s about the “blocky” graphics, or due to the Trump mask (a tribute to Point Break – 1991) or shooting at a school bus (The Dark Knight – 2008) that some user-appointed us. Anyway, we don’t know what to do to fix it because only received a standard email telling us our game was rejected (and offering us their Oculus Start program to learn how to code 🙁

Are you still trying to get it on Quest?

We are currently developing a new mission and it will be available for free on Quest, also the update will be available to everyone that already has the game on other platforms (no extra charge)

Where can folks play the game now?

It’s available for Playstation, Steam, Oculus Store (for Rift and Rift S) and sideload for Quest through SideQuest or apk at crisisvrigade.com

Touring Karts / Final Soccer

Touring Karts takes maximum advantage of the possibilities of VR by reinventing KART-type races in the midst of chaos full of action and surprises. Combine your powers! Original mechanisms designed for VR but can be played without VR.

More than 500 collectable prizes playing both online multiplayer and by yourself. 4 views to choose: One free of dizziness, a classic one in 3rd person, immersive first-person view and room-scale. 22 tracks and 30 customizable cars inspired by real tracks and teams. Quick race mode with all cars and tracks available from the first minute.

Final Soccer VR is a football simulator specially designed for Virtual Reality. It offers an incredible experience playing as a goalkeeper. For lovers of pure football ! 100% realistic graphics and animations made by capturing the movements of professional players. You can choose between playing a quick game or try and defeat 150 levels where you face the best teams in the world!

Why do you think your game was rejected?

Oculus has rejected 3 games to us: Beat Blaster, Final Soccer and Touring Karts. I don’t have [an] idea [why]. Really! Especially with Final Soccer because it’s the perfect game for Quest: Great graphics, animations, etc. and with the Quest, you can replicate for the first time the sensation of a professional goalkeeper with the new room-scale options. With Touring Karts it’s very similar. We’re receiving great feedback and many people asking about the Quest version.

Are you still trying to get it on Quest?

Yes! I hope they change their minds because we love the Quest.

Where can folks play the game now?

At the moment the games will be available for all platforms except for the quest. Touring Karts on Steam Final Soccer on Steam

Vinyl Reality

Developed in close cooperation with professional DJs, Vinyl Reality offers the most intuitive, robust and realistic DJing experience available for virtual reality. Vinyl Reality provides users with an easy to use and fully functional DJ setup. Every knob, button and fader, on both the turntables and mixer, has been carefully replicated to look, feel and behave like their real-world counterparts. For users new to DJing, this means the skills they learn can also be applied outside of virtual reality. For more experienced DJs it ensures the application is both straightforward and intuitive.

The developer of Vinyl Reality did not respond to requests for comment. Comments below are taken from a Reddit post he posted on June 12 2019

Why do you think your game was rejected?

My VR DJing application Vinyl Reality first launched on Steam in November 2017 and supported the Oculus Rift through SteamVR shortly after launch. It did not have native Oculus support ( I’m a solo developer, so I have to allocate my time and resources carefully), but Oculus themselves contacted me a few months later and asked me to port the application to their API so it could be sold on the Oculus store as well, which I did.

I really believe that in the long term VR and AR technology has the potential to replace existing DJ hardware completely, and I was really excited about the potential a standalone device like the Oculus Quest had. So when the Quest application process opened up I created a pitch deck and submitted it.

The first version was rejected because the review team taught it was an enterprise (B2B) app, even though the Rift version of the application was already available on their own store and referenced in the pitch. So I made some changes to the pitch deck and resubmitted, but this time it was rejected without any reason. I’ve reached out to all my contacts at Oculus to get a specific reason as to why it was rejected, but so far haven’t received a reply from any of them.

Are you continuing with trying to get it on Quest?

Yeah, I might create a sideload version of the app just for fun (if I have the time) and give it to existing customers for free.

Where can folks play the game now?

Vinyl Reality on Steam

Soundscape VR

Soundscape VR is home of the most advanced visual arts and music experiences in virtual reality. Fly, explore, play, create, and immerse yourself in massive surreal worlds of breathtaking visuals – a bioluminescent forest coming to life at sunset, a crystalline mountaintop bathed in the aurora borealis, the centre of the universe deep inside a shifting nebula.

In each world, you’ll discover incredible art – enormous sculptures, alien plant life, gorgeous landscapes, dazzling lights/lasers, as well as many other secrets that cannot even be described. Functioning as a social metaverse and 24/7 VR music festival, meet up with friends and other music lovers face-to-face in audio-reactive worlds that the music brings to life. Customize your avatar to uniquely identify yourself and choose between listening to sets from top artists like Big Gigantic and STS9, user-created mixes and synchronized playlists, or ANY music you can imagine in this mind-melting audio-visual feast for the senses.

All comments below taken from a Reddit post posted by the developer on June 12 2019

Why do you think your game was rejected?

We were very excited to bring our open music platform to the Quest – until we found out that Oculus/Facebook does not want us. We’ve been informed by Oculus that even though we have a large number of users because our program is free and does not generate ‘enough’ revenue for them – they are deciding not to grant us Quest access.

For those who don’t know, SVR is a 100% free social world of music and art with zero micro-transactions, zero advertisements, zero data selling, and zero corporate sponsorship. It goes without saying that we are as disappointed by their decision as you. We’ve tried appealing and pleading our case, but they are refusing to budge on their policy. Unfortunately, we are certainly not the only developer affected by this. If a program like Soundscape can be held back, then certainly many smaller indie devs with exciting ideas are also feeling the pain.

Are you continuing with trying to get it on Quest?

For now, there will be no Soundscape VR on Oculus Quest. We are going to have to build microtransactions into the base game to satisfy Oculus, and at a later date, we hope to be able to finally earn the right to bring Soundscape to everyone. In the meantime, we hope you continue to enjoy our ‘Year 3’ updates to the existing version of Soundscape VR on whatever platform you choose and check out our Discord to share your musical passions! We thank the great VR community for your support and hope to dance alongside you again soon!

Where can folks play the game now?

Soundscape VR on Oculus Store

Pavlov VR

This list would not be complete without mentioning the game now synonymous with ‘rejected by Oculus,’ Pavlov VR. Inspired by games like Counter-Strike, Pavlov VR is a tactical multiplayer online shooter from developer ‘davevillz.’

I’m going to eschew the format of the previous entries and instead focus on the drama played out across social media regarding whether or not Pavlov VR will find its way to the Oculus Quest storefront because there is no doubt in my mind that it WILL be approved if it hasn’t been already.

Pavlov VR social media

Pavlov VR is currently available as an early access title on the Steam Store.

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