Starbreeze and Acer announced a new capitalization plan for StarVR, the upcoming high field of view (FOV) VR headset, that will see Acer inject $5 million into the project and take a 66 percent majority control of the joint venture.
Starbreeze made quite the impression at E3 2015 when they unveiled StarVR, the 210 degree, high-resolution VR headset born from project InfinitEye. Little was known about the company’s definitive plans for the headset until Starbreeze and Acer announced a joint venture to “market and produce” StarVR. Initially announced back in early summer of 2016, the joint venture outlined a capitalization plan of up to $25 million to be shared equally between Starbreeze and Acer through capital injections on a set schedule.
According to a press release announcing the deal, $10 million has already been injected into the company in equal amounts by both Acer and Starbreeze. With the new capitalization plan, Acer is injecting $5 million more into the joint venture.
While no further capital injections have been agreed upon yet, the move is a decisive step by Acer to secure a greater presence in what’s popularly considered the future of VR—namely high FOV headsets with (comparatively) high-resolution displays. Pimax, the company building ‘8K’ and ‘5K’ VR headsets offering a similarly wide FOV, recently passed the $2 million crowdfunding mark on their ongoing Kickstarter campaign—nearly as much as the original Oculus Kickstarter—signaling the public’s clear interest in high FOV headsets.
“VR is one of Acer’s key focus areas, as we continue to make huge strides across hardware, software and content development to unlock its potential,” says Acer Chairman and CEO Jason Chen. “The increase of Acer’s stake in StarVR underlines our commitment to the industry, and we look forward to continuing to deliver best-in-class VR experiences through our successful partnership with Starbreeze and ongoing technological innovation.”
Acer recently launched their own Windows ‘Mixed Reality’ VR headset, a device based on Microsoft’s reference design provided to several other OEMs including Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Lenovo, and Samsung.
Providing Acer doesn’t double down again with more capital injections, Starbreeze continues to hold StarVR-related intellectual property rights, including patents and trademarks related to InfinitEye, StarVR (headset), ePawn and the StarVR SDK (Software Development Kit). Acer also hold patents related to electrical engineering, mechanical design and ergonomics that are used in the headset. R&D and reference design for the StarVR headset will also be carried out by Starbreeze and Acer going forward.