Google Daydream is supposed to launch Fall 2016, but only a select group of developers will be able to publish Daydream apps to the Google Play store until 2017.

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Daydream, Google’s high-end VR initiative for Android, is set to launch in the next few months, but the company is not flinging the door wide open when it comes to VR app submissions. While any Android developer can submit Cardboard applications to the Google Play store, Google will be keeping a tighter grip of Daydream apps early on by restricting which developers can publish their applications through Android’s app store.

Only developers who are accepted into the Daydream Access Program (DAP) will be allowed to publish apps at this Fall’s Daydream launch. Everyone else will be allowed to publish apps “early next year.”

Developers can apply now to join the DAP. The application form consists of some pretty basic information gathering, including a description of the VR app that’s being developed and whether or not it has launched on any other VR platforms. Google says that those who are selected to join the DAP “get a first look at updates to Daydream’s developer tools and are connected to our team and the DAP community throughout the development process.”

See Also: Start Making Google Daydream VR Apps Today with a DIY Dev Kit

The criteria upon which developers will be accepted into the Daydream Access Program is unclear. This restrictive step appears to be a rather simple way for Google to sift for high quality VR content at Daydream’s launch, rather than opening the floodgates to any and all would-be Android VR developers. It’s tough to say exactly what the company’s reasoning for introducing the DAP is, but some guesses include a way to ensure that the initial Daydream offerings abide by VR best practices, show a good face for Google’s new VR initiative, and establish a foundation of initial high-quality apps for newer VR developers to learn from.

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Google, which just last week launched the Daydream SDK out of beta, is hosting an October 4th press event which is widely expected to see the announcement of new Daydream-ready phones from the company, amidst other news. This aligns with Google’s promise earlier this year that we’d see the first Daydream phones launch in Fall.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • VRgameDevGirl

    I’ll just have to release any game I make this year to WearVR.

  • DiGiCT Ltd

    It is only in their daydream store, you still can deploy VR apps to other stores instead.
    Till now there is even no info if daydream store will be available in China as all google services are blocked in China mainland.
    Although it is a good move from google for the launch, the crap will hit their store anyhow next year.
    There will be more crap on mobile VR as on the highend VR as there are simply so many Android devs around, although most of them lacking VR skills and even 3d design skills.
    The challenge for devs on mobile is to squeeze as much as possible quality out of your game on a lower end spec device.

    I still buy one asap google releases it, as the developer DIY kit is not really a good way to dev your games at all, i need to know exactly how the controller works, instead of using a second mobile with a controler app.

    Afterall daydream VR will be bigger as samsung gear VR due to having more choice on phones supporting it and maybe even standalone HMD’s later on.

  • silvaring

    I hope Google have some sensible people curating the submissions, my fear is that they don’t have enough variety for seasoned and retro gamers because they’re scared of the nausea issues from people sensitive to roller coasters and shit like that.

  • Richard Fox

    BIG mistake. VR is useless without content; restricying a new technology to big old skool firms is a good way to miss the unexpeccted, essential killer app

  • Don’t like this approach… Android has always been famous for freedom of users and developers… and the Play Store is an example. Creating a closed ecosystem like Oculus one is not the key. I understand they did it to have high-quality content and not being flooded by bad VR demos, but it is uncoherent with Google philosophy. All this IMHO

  • Konchu

    It does suck a bit but probably smart to curate a little more on launch. They are not saying you cannot get a app on here just that it will have to pass the Google sniff test for a few months to insure good content best practices. This will definitely sucks for the smaller guys though and Google may miss some hidden gems. But they will also not have Pull My Finger the VR experience … wait that is not a half bad idea now excuse me while I make a VR Fart app.

    • Ya, +1. As you said this is temporary. The Google VR SDK 1.0 just came out of beta, and it takes some time to build VR content. I would think of this more like a temp “early access program” at launch, not like a closed ecosystem going forward.