VRChat, the virtual-reality based platform has announced that a port of the title to mobile devices is in the works.
In a recent developer blog VRChat Inc announced that an in-development build is already in production. They also provided a general timeframe of the Android port being rolled out to VRChat Plus users within “three-to-four months" with an iOS version to follow.
After securing funding of $10m back in 2019 to expand their team it seems that VRChat Inc are taking the next step by moving beyond regular VR devices such as the Oculus Quest and onto mobile.
VRChat Inc's diversifying move comes at time when others are getting cold feet about VR. Meta cut the prices of it's range of VR headsets, most specifically a huge $500 off it's previously $1,499 Quest Pro. And most recently cut more than 10,000 jobs in their 'quest' for cut-backs after extreme metaverse investment. Similarly AltspaceVR by Microsoft closed this month too, prompting many to re-examine the inevitability of the metaverse as anything but.
On the flip side, and in the current climate, VRChat's move away from dedicated VR gear onto the broader safe zone of mobile both seems safe and sensible. Whether that's simply a move to diversify their user base or a necessity.
Moving beyond Meta
VRChat - through no fault of its own - has been beholden to the adoption rate of Oculus Quest and other VR devices at a time when the obvious benefits of VR - despite massive investment in it - has yet to pay off. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been slowly stepping back from the concept after previously being all in, much to the chagrin of Meta investors and shareholders as they watched their money slip through his fingers.
VRChat expanding beyond its original platform makes sense as a shrewd decision for the future. And if they’re able to adapt the core components of VRChat for mobile devices, that opens up many more opportunities on other future platforms too.