Today Razer is announcing a $5 million OSVR development fund which the company will use to incentivize support of its open-source VR platform.
With tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars being invested by Oculus and HTC into content for their respective VR platforms, Razer hopes to offer a similar style of support to encourage developers to build for the OSVR platform. That encouragement comes in the form of the $5 million OSVR Developer Fund which will be used to guarantee an agreed number of game keys be pre-purchased from developers who create VR experiences compatible with the OSVR platform. This gives developers a minimum expectation of ROI when building for OSVR and incentivizes Razer and OSVR to help co-market developers projects in order to sell those pre-purchased keys.
While the number of pre-purchased keys will vary on a case by case basis, Razer says that both indie and major studios will be considered for the program and that they will retain full creative control and sales control, with the only requirement being that OSVR support be integrated, even if the developer plans to sell on other platforms as well, like SteamVR or Oculus Home.
Razer launched OSVR back at the beginning of January 2015 in collaboration with HMD manufacturer Sensics. The organization’s goal is to function as a sort of open-source standard for interconnecting VR hardware and software. Since the initial launch, the open-source VR initiative has grown to more than 350 partners avowing support for the platform. Still, OSVR has had a hard time harboring the same enthusiasm seen for commercially-focused VR platforms backed by major players like Facebook, HTC/Valve, and PlayStation.
While Razer (one of the founding members of OSVR) is priming the OSVR Developer Fund with its initial $5 million, it’s also seeking partners interested in joining in and committing additional funds to the cause.