Oculus says its developer funding is ‘kickstarting the entire VR industry’

Ben Parfitt
Oculus says its developer funding is ‘kickstarting the entire VR industry’

The debate about Oculus exclusivity and its backing of developers continues with Oculus arguing that its actions are of benefit to the entire VR sector.

HTC recently voiced stern criticism of Oculus' model, which sees developers receiving funding in return for releasing games exclusively on Oculus Rift. Oculus VP of content Jason Rubin, however, has argued to Shacknews that these arrangements are of wider benefit.

Even if [developers] only sell a few copies, they make money from the beginning,” Rubin said. I think if you talk to the developers… they will tell you that this is one of the most generous deals they've ever heard of in the video games industry.

We don't own IP. Everybody owns their IP, which also is extremely generous, and it's good for the industry because if we help them fund a title and it creates something that resonates with the consumer. They own the IP and have choices with what they do next. So this is kickstarting the entire industry, not only Oculus.

There are titles that sit in stores outside the Oculus store, not in the Oculus store, that have Oculus funding in them. We have been so aggressive with our funding that there are times where we have had developers, but for various reasons we've said, ‘you know what? You have our money, go put that out on the market, it's not appropriate for our store.' Either it didn't meet our quality level for the store or for some other reason, and so there are titles in other stores that we have funded that are good for the industry, some people like it, that just didn't quite meet the bar for our curated store.”

Rubin also suggested that Oculus will be perfectly willing to step away from this model once the VR sector has matured enough.

I think if VR and when VR is massive and self-sustaining, there's nothing that would make Oculus happier than stepping out of this and letting the industry do what it needs to do, but we understand that the fastest way to get VR to the masses is by taking leaps forward in the quality of content,” he added.

I watched that happen over decades for the PC. We don't want this to take decades, so somebody has to put in resources to get it to grow more quickly. You'll see Google do the same for their platform. Sony is doing the same for their platform. We're the single largest, most aggressive backer of content in the VR business period. It's the right thing to do.”

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