VR gaming is all the rage right now. This was clear before E3, but it’s even more so afterward, with gamers having gobbled up anything related to the technology at the show. However, it is also in a very tumultuous time, with huge game-changing decisions being made almost daily. One of the current trends in the VR gaming space is platform exclusivity, with Oculus Rift, as well as some smaller players, pushing for games to only be playable on their headset. Now Open-Source Virtual Reality (OSVR) is fighting back, announcing a huge fund for developers to use, but only if they support the open standard.
“The OSVR Developer Fund is a $5 million dollar growing fund initiated by Razer designed to encourage VR content developers to support the open ecosystem,” reads the announcement. “OSVR knows that VR content developers can’t afford to be limited by walled gardens and closed ecosystems. By supporting OSVR, developers can not only remain focused on creating the best VR experience without any limitations, but instantly gain audience as new VR platforms get released. 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.”
Of course, there might be more money in going the exclusive route, with Oculus and Sony offering developers unknown amounts of development funds, if they give them some sort of exclusivity for their headset. For Sony, this isn’t all that controversial as they are a console manufacturer. However, Oculus has caused a lot of strife in the PC gaming community, where exclusives are seen as anti-consumer, and against the spirit of PC gaming as a whole.
VR is in a very interesting time, with a lot of change happening very quickly. Players and people are scrambling to decide what will be the standards by which this new technology will function. We’ll have to see if this new OSVR fund will help push more game makers into the open standards format.