Virtual reality gaming has been steadily gaining momentum over the last few years and gaming giants like Sony and Valve have made a lot of progress in this field. The latest race to virtual reality was kicked off by the Facebook-owned Oculus - the company behind the Rift VR headset - but unlike the other two, Oculus is not a game company with a long history and so Oculus is taking steps to make sure that it doesn't run short on titles for its platform. To that end, Oculus announced on Thursday that it is earmarking a $10-million (approximately Rs. 64 crores) fund for indie developers who want to make VR games.
At an event taking place before E3 2015, Oculus finally unveiled the consumer version of the Oculus Rift, announced its launch date, and showed off a new controller for virtual reality. The company also unveiled a slate of developers who would be making VR games for the Rift, but aside from these big names, Oculus will also fund indies who want to make VR games.
It's a good move, and reflects the grassroots support that Oculus has always had. The Rift got its start as a Kickstarter project, and if you visit any of the sites that list games that will run on an Oculus Rift, you'll find a lot of hugely experimental games from unknown developers.
(Also see: Five Essential Oculus Rift Gaming Experiences)
This is particularly important because most big developers - who have huge budgets on the line - can't take too many risks to figure out what works and what doesn't in the world of VR. A small indie on the other hand is going to be willing to make weird experiences like a VR cinema, or a Web browser. These early experiments are going to be very important in helping to understand what works and what doesn't in VR.
Oculus did something similar for the Samsung Gear VR last year. The company hosted a VR jam which attracted 61 entries. The winner created a game where you command a steampunk submarine, and took away $200,000 (approximately Rs. 1.3 crores). And not only did it show a cool way of using virtual reality that hadn't been done before, but also further strengthened Oculus' relationship with the developer community, which is going to be essential as all the different headsets start to head to the market.