Add-ons: Downloadable Content (DLC) and In-App Purchases (IAP)
Oculus Developer Blog
|
Posted by Oculus VR
|
March 16, 2020
|
Share

Beginning later this month, developers will see a new option in their Developer Dashboard for downloadable add-on content management, Add-ons. Add-ons combine downloadable content (or DLCs) and In-App Purchases (or IAPs) under one management function. The introduction of Add-ons aims to make the process of creating add-on content easier for developers. It also aims to make add-on content more searchable and purchasable directly from the application page for consumers.

Oculus began supporting DLCs in 2018 for mobile and PC. At launch, there were two available file types:

  • Generic Asset Files, which can be content downloaded at runtime, or required assets, downloaded at install time.
  • Language Packs, which are a special type of asset file that enable localization on demand.

These files could be extracted off the main application build and served to audiences separately. Both of these file types enabled developers to provide new experiences, characters, levels, and languages for their application without increasing the initial download size.

However, we heard from our developers that although supporting DLCs and IAPs was important, the current configuration opportunities and discoverability were challenged.

We’ve been working directly with our developers to make this solution more usable. Add-ons allow for more granular configuration, accommodating screenshots, video trailers, and more. Add-ons can be shipped independently from the main app. In addition, Add-ons need only to be uploaded once, and the system will automatically propagate them to all the needed build versions.

Engine Support

If the add-on content has a downloadable part, and you develop in Unity or Unreal, both engines have built-in support for DLC which can be directly accepted by Oculus Platform. Please refer to the following documentation:

How Do I Create Add-ons?

Add-ons are created in the Developer Dashboard. Add-on content can be configured across Rift, Quest, and Go platforms via the App Groupings function. A grouping can combine multiple apps, which allows for Add-ons cross-buy. For example, the same DLC can be sold on Rift and Quest with one configuration. By default, a group contains only one application; however, other applications can be added to it. If your application is targeting only one device, you will still use the App Grouping function to set up your add-on content.

Example URL to configure Add-ons:

https://dashboard.oculus.com/organization/[org-id]/app-grouping/[group-id]/add-ons/

On this page, you can create new Add-ons by identifying a display name, descriptions, price, assets and content rating, upload asset files for downloadable add-on content (DLCs), submit Add-ons for review, and edit existing Add-ons.

Store Review

If you would like to surface add-on content in the Oculus Store, it will need to go through the Oculus review process. The submission process is very similar to submitting the base application.

We recommend submitting Add-ons with sufficient time to go through the review process. This includes processing requested changes. All assets must adhere to our asset VRCs and content guidelines. Please note that if there are multiple changes that are requested from the review team, this might lengthen the review period.

Once the Add-ons store listing is approved, it will appear in the “In Store” tab of the Add-ons dashboard where you can set a launch date. Once launched, it will be available to all users from the “Add-ons” and “Downloadable Content” sections of your application in Oculus Store.

How Do I Upload DLC Asset Files for Add-ons?

Add-ons may contain an optional DLC file. DLC files can be downloaded by users from Oculus Store, and you can integrate the download process via Platform SDK calls.

The Upload menu in the Add-ons table provides instructions for uploading DLC files and also shows the current files associated with Add-ons.

Note: In case your application grouping contains apps from different platforms, each platform should have its own version of a DLC file uploaded for an Add-on.

The Oculus Platform Util is used to upload application builds and can also be used to upload Add-ons. Please follow the instructions for the upload-add-on command in the help menu of the tool.

Once you have the DLC file attached to Add-ons, it is automatically attached to the list of Asset Files of your main application build and will be applied on the next build upload.

How Do I Ship New Add-ons Independently of the Main App?

When you introduce new Add-ons, by default only new build versions will inherit it. Alternatively, you can propagate new Add-ons to the existing build versions. This method offers users on older builds access to new Add-ons. In this case, please make sure the legacy builds are compatible with new DLC files.

To support this use, you can use --min-version-code parameter of the upload-add-on command.

./ovr-platform-util upload-add-on
--app-id [app-id]
--app-secret [app-secret]
--file [path-to-DLC-file]
--sku [Add-on-SKU]
--min-version-code 5

In the example above all the main builds with the version code 5 and above receive the new DLC files in the list of Asset Files for those builds.

How Do I Exclude Add-ons from a Specific Build?

Add-ons and their DLC files are automatically attached to the main build whenever a new build is uploaded. Sometimes, however, you may want to ship a build without Add-ons—during the development stage or for other reasons. To do so, you can use --exclude-add-ons flag with your upload-rift-build, or upload-quest-build commands.

Example:

./ovr-platform-util upload-quest-build
--app-id [app-id]
--app-secret [app-secret]
--apk [path-to-APK]
--channel [release-channel]
--exclude-add-ons

Add-ons Content Rating

We require Add-ons content rating to be the same as the rating of the base application serving Add-ons. All applications are rated by the International Age Rating Coalition (IARC). All apps that will be released in South Korea are also rated by the Game Rating and Administrator Committee (GRAC). You can obtain ratings directly through the Developer Dashboard, in the Submission Info > Content Ratings section.

In case of a higher rating for Add-ons, you have to re-request and update the IARC and, where appropriate, GRAC rating of the main application first.

Simple In-App Purchase Add-ons

Bulk upload of IAPs is still supported with the standard TSV-format. These are considered Add-ons but are not exposed anywhere in the Oculus Store. Rather, they are served by developers. However, we do encourage use of the Add-ons creation form, since it allows uploading screenshots, video trailers, and DLC files.

Store Features

Add-ons are now featured in the Store! There are new sections specific to Add-ons, PDPs that showcase add-on content assets, and an Add-ons section in the base game PDP. This enhancement is now available in VR and on the Oculus app. We’re also working on the ability to search for Add-ons, so stay tuned for future updates.

What’s Next?

If it suits your business and application, set up Add-ons to re-engage your application audience and bring new people into your app community.

We’ll continue working on Add-ons and look forward to introducing Add-ons Bundles soon. As always, we'd love to hear your feedback.

Thanks!

— The Oculus Team