Razer recently launched HDK2, the open source Head Mounted Display for OSVR, the open source VR standard first released by Valve. As part of that VR effort, they just announced a $5 million fund for developing OSVR titles. So does this require exclusivity? Well no. In fact their funding approach is pretty novel and one I think others should adopt.
This fund is open to all developers, indie or major, to apply. For every successful applicant, OSVR funding partners will purchase copies of their content in exchange for OSVR integration.
So basically, you add OSVR support to your title, Razer (and other OSVR parties I’m assuming) will then purchase a number of copies of that title, which they in turn can use to include with their headsets. It’s fairly win/win actually, developers are guaranteed a minimum number of sales, promotion and exposure and headset manufacturers have more titles and promotional options as a result. Further information from the press release:
SAN FRANCISCO – Organizers of Open Source Virtual Reality (OSVR), the largest open source virtual reality consortium in the world, today announced the OSVR Developer Fund—a content accelerator program led by Razer that avails $5 million to the developer community. The fund encourages developers to support the OSVR ecosystem – an open source ecosystem that allows VR content to work across the board with all VR hardware, giving VR fans and developers more choice without worrying about DRM policies or other restrictive measures.
“VR is working toward being a mainstream success thanks to all the developers who have stepped up to the plate to deliver the next-generation in interactive experiences,” says Christopher Mitchell, OSVR lead, Razer. “The OSVR Developer Fund allows us to directly support the efforts of VR pioneers across the breadth of this developing industry, while at the same time ensuring that content is available to everyone in the industry. It is our contention that if everyone who is constructively contributing to the VR ecosystem succeeds, then VR will succeed. Closed doors in the world of development are a death sentence.”
The OSVR Developer Fund will be available to qualified, participating VR content developers – independent or major. If successful, applicants will have their game codes purchased in bulk by Razer or any future contributors to the fund in exchange for support of the platform. This will help compensate developers for the time spent integrating as well as provide OSVR with assets to promote their game’s availability in the unrestricted OSVR powered eco-system for use with all headsets.
“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.”
In the egalitarian spirt of OSVR, developers will not beholden to only one particular sales channel, hardware device or development engine. Publishers will likewise retain full creative control over their content.
They will also receive marketing and promotional support including opportunities to be a part of OSVR hardware bundles or showcases at major consumer events.
If you are interested in signing up, be sure to head over to the OSVR page.