OSVR Developer Fund Tries to Open VR Development

Published: July 1, 2016 9:30 AM /


Razer OSVR Open Source Virtual Reality

Razer recently announced the launch of the OSVR Developer Fund for their open source virtual reality headsets.

The OSVR Developer Fund consists of $5,000,000 to be dispersed to qualifying developers whether they're from indie studios or larger operations. Qualified applicants will have game codes purchased in bulk by either Razer or one of their participating partners. Interested developers can apply via the main page for the fund.

Of course, participation in the fund comes with some conditions. Developers who partake in the OSVR Developer Fund are obligated to maintain non-exclusive OSVR support for a minimum of 1 year from their product's release date. This mandate excludes any time a title has spent in a pre-release state such as Early Access. Submitting an application to the fund does not guarantee approval.

The amount of funding support will vary on a case-by-case basis. However, developers will receive marketing and promotional support in addition to the bulk purchasing of game codes. Developers will also be able to retain complete creative control of their IP within the limitations of the OSVR Developer Fund contract should they be accepted.

OSVR is an open-source movement to create virtual reality content that works across all virtual reality devices. Although Razer has some OSVR-compatible devices of their own, this fund is largely geared towards building up the OSVR ecosystem. As such, participating developers won't be restricted to any particular device or development engine. Razer is also seeking additional funding partners for the program.

This comes at a time when Facebook is making waves with getting full or timed exclusives for the Oculus Rift. Razer's position here is putting their money in a position similar to what Valve's Gabe Newell did, albeit with even more openness as it doesn't require you to use the Steam store, although you probably would anyways. Some of what Oculus has done that has been particularly upsetting to the VR community is purchasing timed exclusives on games that were set to go out on the Vive, like they did with Giant Cop.

Razer released some details about the OSVR Hacker Development Kit 2 headset in mid-June. The open source headset will have similar technical capabilities to virtual reality devices currently on the market such as the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, at a far lower price point of $399.

What do you think of Razer's OSVR Developer Fund? Do you think the OSVR will be able to compete against the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and comparable virtual reality headsets? Let us know in the comments below!

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