The amazing VR app Blueplanet VR has been updated to v2 with a collection of great new features and locations. 40 new locations are available in the app, new UI features have been added, and DLC has been added to the app to help create a more sustainable product.
DLC (downloadable content) is sometimes derided as a money grab, but it can also be used to provide the developers the ability to continue providing great content. For Blueplanet VR, the base app starts with 50 locations. There are 4 additional content packs of 10 locations each that you can purchase or not bringing it up to 90 available locations. In the past, new locations were added with app updates, but to be profitable, the price would really need to be increased, at least from time to time. Clearly this isn’t a great strategy for attracting new users, so now the base product’s price can remain more stable while allowing users to purchase packs or not.
New Location Packs
The downloadable content packs available right away each contain ten locations for $5.99. Once purchased, you have them forever. Even if you uninstall and reinstall the app, the purchased content packs are still yours. I can imagine that there might be custom packs available in the future with different prices or location counts, and possibly even specialty packs of hard-to-capture locations at more premium prices.
In addition to the DLC, the initial home screen where you select the location to visit has eschewed the wrap-around selection and has changed to a tall wall of selectable spheres that you can scroll up and down. Once at a location, there are now controller commands visible when you turn your wrists a bit. This is much nicer than trying to remember what A/B, X/Y, or the trigger/grip buttons do. I strongly believe that every VR experience needs to do this to improve usability.
I also love the new feature that from a given location, you can jump to the previous or next location without returning to lobby. It would be nice to be able to bring up a quick selection or at least see the name of the previous/next location, but it’s still a great addition.
Get It Now!
If you already own Blueplanet VR, you should have the indicator that an update’s available if you haven’t done it yet. You won’t lose anything, and you’ll gain the ability to buy the new packs. If you are a new user, there’s nothing special to do as you’ll get the latest version automatically.
It’s exciting to see this update as I’ve worried before about apps like Blueplanet and BRINK running into trouble as they keep adding content and need to keep the company going. I’m looking forward to seeing what new content packs get released!
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