Creating virtual reality (VR) software is a risky business fraught with financial uncertainty due to the technology being so new. With head-mounted displays (HMDs) such as HTC Vive and Oculus Rift only available for the last couple of months, and no official sales figures released for either, there’s no guarantee on a studios investment. But risks need to be taken to push VR and make it successful, which is why several companies have created development funds to support the process. Epic Games has its Unreal Dev Grants scheme, HTC launched a $100 million USD Accelerator Program and today Open Source Virtual Reality (OSVR) has announced a $5 million developer fund.
The OSVR Developer Fund led by Razer encourages developers to support the headset ecosystem. Funds will be available to qualified, participating VR content developers, either independent or major. Studios that are successful their game codes purchased in bulk by Razer or future fund contributors.
Developers will also not be held to only one particular sales channel, hardware device or development engine and publishers will keep full creative control over their content.
“We understand content developers have various development challenges and we’re committed to helping them get ahead of those barriers,” says Justin Cooney, OSVR director of developer relations, Razer. “The OSVR Developer Fund helps to support initial sales while enabling developers to contribute to the VR industry as a whole. Together, OSVR and its content partners enjoy the realization of a shared vision for the future of VR.”