HTC today announced that they’ve spun up an internal development and publishing group called Vive Studios.

Mirroring Oculus’ own ‘Oculus Studios’ effort, HTC has formed an internal VR game studio and publishing group called Vive Studios. Like other first-party studios, Vive Studios plans to both create content internally and work with external studios on publishing, marketing, and funding support.

“We’re excited to formally unveil Vive Studios as a new pillar in HTC’s initiative to drive persistent growth for VR,” said Joel Breton, VP of content at HTC Vive. “Vive Studios’ aim is to nurture and discover development talent and help create content that will continually push the boundaries of the kinds of experiences VR can deliver. […] The VR ecosystem needs a persistent flow of exciting experiences and AAA content that can help grow our audience.”

While HTC’s VR partner, Valve, has formerly taken a lead on evangelizing VR content development for SteamVR, the company hasn’t publicly made the sort of major VR content investments that we’ve seen from Oculus and its parent company Facebook. Oculus has a smaller library of VR content on its platform, but most agree what what’s there has greater depth than what’s available on SteamVR (and by extension, the Vive).

Now it seems that HTC wants to change that. The company has supported VR content developers across several other initiatives, but its formal efforts—like the Vive X accelerator—seem focused more on startup & venture style investing than content publishing. Vive Studios is likely to function in a more familiar structure for established game and app developers looking to create top-notch VR content.

HTC Confirms Each Vive is Sold at Profit, "Much More" Than 140,000 Units in Sales

While Oculus Studios has primarily focused on gaming content, HTC says Vive Studios will be pursuing many content categories.

“Vive Studios is actively creating content across key categories for VR including games, education, cinematic, design, social, real-estate and sports, as well as tools and applications that can revolutionize areas such as media, retail, healthcare, and location-based entertainment centers and arcades,” the announcement reads.

That fits the broader scope of HTC’s own Viveport VR app platform which is less focused on gaming content than we’ve seen so far from Oculus Home and SteamVR.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • Raphael

    Yes, good news. I wrote an email to Gabe Newell months ago to raise the subject of poor promotion of HTC Vive by valve. Oculus have led the way in strong PR and educating people about VR. Valve on the other hand have done very little in that area. A non-existent VR PR team, almost no videos to inform and educate. My opinion is that Valve is the weakest part of Vive. It’s good that HTC are taking steps to generate new content and keep the Vive from slipping into obscurity.

    Valve no longer have the great track record in terms of PR. Steam boxes and a poorly supported controller and that poor performance Linux mod dubbed “steamOS” aren’t where it’s at.

    • ummm…

      im not sure they need the PR as much as oculus. However, valve is INTERGRAL behind HTC Vive because they basically created it.

      • Raphael

        Valve need a lot more than just pr. They’ve basically become little more than content delivery platform.

        • ummm…

          this is ridiculous. theyve just developed hardware. theyve developed games. theyve just opened vive studios. they are working with third party hardware devs. yeah – just a store………….the best one at that

          • Raphael

            what games have valve developed for VR?

          • ummm…

            not my fault you dont know look it up; not many but they are there: plus –

            in house game development for a hardware provider isn’t necessary – although id like to see them develop more that is very true. they dont really release much if anything these days.

          • Raphael

            why are you linking to news about HTC setting up a dev studio? Do you think valve and HTC are the same company?

            HTC is putting massive effort into VR development…. valve are doing considerably less.

    • Foreign Devil

      I wouldn’t say Oculus have a great track record in terms of PR either LOL!

      • Raphael

        You mean because they screwed up a few times? What’s the biggest name in vr right now and going back to the days of duct tape and cardboar?

        Heard of Palmer Luckey? Give me the names of the people fronting vive… Looking for the answer on the internet equals fail.

        Oculus have put consumer Vr back on the map even if it is with valve designed hardware.

        • Foreign Devil

          Ever heard about Palmer Luckey RECENTLY? The guy was such bad PR that they have to actually hide him away now and won’t even talk mention his name at their publicity conferences. . He is “persona non grata” and nobody even talks about him anymore. Full disclosure I own a Rift. I’m not a Vive fanboy.

          • Raphael

            Uhhhh, of course? That has nothing to do with what Oculus have done to promote VR since oculus became a Kickstarter. Doesn’t matter what’s happened since… doesn’t rewind time and stop all of that VR tech promotion and education. You may not be a Vive fanboy but you can’t seem to grasp that palmer’s troll funding and idiot choice of girlfriend doesn’t stop all of those years of educating the public about VR. This is really what valve should have been doing since oculus was pretty much copied from their design. Valve is the number one content delivery system… that’s pretty much all they do now. Yes they developed Vive but their PR on VR has been non-existent. They are the weakest part of Vive and this will become more apparent as HTC get things moving in 2017.

  • Get Schwifty!

    Looking forward to some good content here and I am glad to see that HTC recognizes that other applications beyond gaming are important areas for growth. I believe that it’s the non-gaming areas that will anchor VR ultimately, not gaming, just as business apps anchored the PC while gaming helped keep it dynamic.

    • Raphael

      That’s the current trendy view circulating about VR isn’t it that VR is somehow too good for gaming and that serious applications will take over. I think it’s absolute nonsense. VR is revolutionizing gaming and revitalizing it and of course VR has lots of serious applications including educational. VR gaming is no less valid than other applications.

      • Get Schwifty!

        I am not parroting that view, rather there is in VR a situation not unlike the growth and advance in capabilities in the PC platform where business needs drove adoption and legitimized PC use but it was gaming that drove pushing the platform beyond what business or gaming alone would have done. As gaming pushed the platform business saw potential for new or better applications and this in turn helped the market for gaming. I believe this is pretty much the same with VR, with the exception that VR-video based entertainment will also be a serious factor over time which wasn’t true with the PC.

        I certainly don’t think my post in any way implied gaming was illegitimate, or not key to VR growth. OTOH, non-gaming adoption helps “root” VR in industry circles and taking it seriously. It’s always true that non-gamers will always consider gaming frivolous and see no value in something until it has traditional application, and a lot of these folks are investors despite the fact from the start gaming and entertainment have been multi billion dollar revenue sources- go figure.

        Fortunately. The engineering, medical, simulation and even art/media applications are so painfully obvious that they can’t be ignored which only bodes well for VR gaming.

        • ummm…

          its an interesting argument. however, vr as a consumer product is defined now by games – as far as i know. Does that mean that the development strategy in this case may be different from the productivity first strategy of the personal computer revolution?

          On this point im not sure I have an opinion, or if it is even necessary that the vr landscape coalesce behind one “idea” about vr viability.

    • Ghosty

      Agreed but gaming will always push the tech forward because of it’s ever increasing demand for more, better, faster, etc…

  • talos

    i remember when the netscape navigator was a big deal by making information on the www more accessible via a web browser, back in 94. the first company to make a viable 3D representation of the WWW – that actually makes web navigation faster/more streamlined/efficient in VR- will find their mark in application design history.

  • OgreTactics

    First-party studios is the game of the future. In 5/6 years there won’t be console wars or pc/gpu wars anymore since it’s all going to be about exclusive-platforms/cross-device rather the inverse.