Kite & Lightning, the studio behind some of VR’s earliest experiences, is one of 13 developers receiving a portion of over $200,000 in ‘Unreal Dev Grants’, a program set up by Epic Games to showcase and provide financial support to projects using Unreal Engine 4. Bebylon Battle Royale is the team’s first major VR game, described as a “vehicular melee party brawler,” and is due to release in 2018 on HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.
Unreal Dev Grants was established in February 2015 as a $5 million development fund, offering no-strings-attached financial awards from Epic Games, and includes the upcoming PSVR title Moss as one of its previous recipients. The latest round of grants has been awarded to a diverse range of projects, including a number of non-VR indie games, a full-length animated film, and The Machines, a MOBA-inspired AR PVP game.
Bebylon Battle Royale was first revealed in 2015, and represents a radical departure from Kite & Lightning’s previous work. Co-founder Ikrima Elhassan described the gameplay as a “hybrid of Mario Kart party mode and Super Smash Bros.” In 2016, the team received a major financial boost in the form of $2.5 million in seed funding to expand the scope of the title. The game is currently in closed beta.
“Unreal Dev Grants is our way to reward and highlight the incredible talent that makes up the Unreal development community,” said Chance Ivey, Partnership Manager, Epic Games. “These projects show what is possible when you combine passion with creative technology, and stand as examples of why we do what we do.”