Meta Closes Quest App Lab and Opens Quest Store to Smaller Developers

Meta has begun changing how apps from smaller developers are made available to users. These changes mean that apps and games that were previously unlisted will now appear in the main Quest Store. 

The Quest App Lab was launched in 2021 and was designed as a secondary platform for distributing apps. However, after three years, Meta is now closing the Quest App Lab while opening the Quest Store to developers who could only previously see their content available through limited channels. 

Including App Lab games and apps on the Quest Store means users can find this content far more easily. Previously, you would need to know the exact name of an app or have a URL if you wanted to download it. 

The changes follow the recent news that Meta is opening the recently rebranded Quest Store to any headset that runs Meta Horizon OS. The platform, which is now called the Meta Horizon Store, will include an App Lab section, essentially levelling the playing field for third-party app creators. 

How Meta App Lab Is Changing

Users who want to experience and enjoy App Lab content from third-party developers can now do so from the Meta Horizon Store. App Lab apps and games now have their own section within the main store. 

At the moment, there are 100 publicly viewable apps within the store, and it’s not clear how the available content is selected or if and when more will appear. 

Up until recently, Meta has included a pop-up warning on App Lab pages. This notification has been replaced by a more subtle disclaimer which appears next to the game or app’s user rating. The disclaimer reads, “This app may be experimental or still in development.”

Once the App Lab is fully closed down and merged with the Meta Horizon Store, the approval criteria will have fewer restrictions. Although apps and games must meet the “basic technical, content, and privacy requirements”, much of the subjectivity around selection will be removed. 

Ready To Reach a Wider Audience

The Quest Store was recently renamed Meta Horizon Store and will be available to any third-party headset running on the Meta Horizon OS platform. So far, we know that Lenovo and ASUS have headsets in development, but currently, only the Meta Quest range of headsets is using the operating system. 

The ongoing changes to App Lab and the Meta Horizon Store will mean that once more users access Quest content on other devices, smaller third-party developers can get their apps and games onto more headsets. 

This lets studios publish early access versions of new titles. Any developer can distribute content through the platform provided it meets the technical, content, and privacy requirements, regardless of their studio’s size. 

These changes may only be the starting point for Meta. As time passes, the gap between App Lab apps and games and those in the main store could close even more, making the platform more like the Google Play Store.

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