We were expecting to see Rec Room make its way to Google Play sometime this fall. With little fanfare though, the popular social VR platform has quietly begun early rollout for its Android app on select devices.
Update (August 4th, 2021): If you’ve pre-registered for access to Rec Room on Android, you may receive a notification in the coming days to let you know you can download the app. But don’t wait, because since July 24th the app has been available to select Android devices.
As Android Central notes, controllers aren’t supported yet, and some users are reporting performance issues at the moment. It seems to be well optimized for modern phones though. We’ve tested with a device running a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, so it should work fairly well for flagship phones from at least 2018. The original article follows below:
Original Article (June 29th, 2021): According to its Google Play listing, Rec Room is set to launch on Android versions 7.1 and up, something that accounts for around 70 percent of the market share for mobile operating systems.
The launch on Android is undoubtedly a big piece of the puzzle for Rec Room, as it will feature cross-play with all supported platforms, which includes iOS devices, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, PC via Steam, Oculus Quest, and all SteamVR-compatible headsets.
Rec Room is far from just a digital chatroom for VR and non-VR devices though; it offers up loads of bespoke content built by the company such as their popular multiplayer co-op adventures, but also the ability to make your own rooms and avatar accessories too. And it’s completely free.
The ability to make your own stuff has been the basis of the game’s burgeoning economy, which allows some users to create things like rooms or avatar accessories and sell them to others for the in-game token. Those tokens can be bought with cash by users to buy things, but can also be converted back to real-world cash now too, which essentially lets the studio pay certain users to create content.
The game has one of the strong userbases in the medium—the studio says 2021 seen a +500% year-over-year growth in users and over 1 million active monthly VR users—and it’s set to potentially explode in number upon release of Android support. The most apt point of comparison is the game’s 2018 launch on iOS, which the studio says saw an iOS download increase by 600% year-over-year. Combined with a fresh $100 million investment announced in March 2021, the studio now boasts a $1.25 billion valuation, making it the first VR software unicorn.