Oculus Says Market Stability Gives Company Space To Invest In Larger Projects

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A new interview with Jason Rubin, vice president of content at Oculus, sheds some light on an interesting change to the company’s investment strategy. And it sounds like recent concerns about Oculus’ long-term viability, which resurfaced in the wake of the Rift+Touch combo’s $200 price cut, were more than a little premature. If anything, it sounds like the virtual reality market is starting to enjoy more stability than many consumers might assume.

Rubin’s latest comments were given to Road to VR, which published the story on Wednesday, and provide some surprisingly positive information about the current state of VR development. According to Rubin, small- and medium-sized virtual reality developers don’t necessarily need outside investment to turn a profit with VR projects anymore. No one is disputing that outside cash can help alleviate some of the pressure to succeed, particularly for small studios that need to see decent sales to continue operations. But recent sales data shows more than 30 VR titles have generated more than $250,000 on Steam and the biggest titles (like Job Simulator and Raw Data) have earned more than $1 million. That’s a pretty stark turnaround from October 2016, when Rubin told Road to VR Oculus was helping fund titles that were “larger than would be practically financeable by developers and publishers at the launch of a hardware system.”

Naturally, Oculus is changing its investment strategy to reflect the new realities of the market, “[moving] up the investment chain” as Rubin puts it. Oculus’ VP of Content says the company is winding down its old strategy, giving a $100,000 - $200,000 to smaller teams that could help expand the Rift’s catalogue, and turning its efforts to larger VR projects that are proving to be more risky for developers and publishers. These days, Oculus is looking for projects that need somewhere between $1 million and $5 million to make their project viable. And Rubin says the company plans to keep moving up the chain as the risk shifts to larger and larger projects.

Be sure to check back with Player.One and follow Scott on Twitter for more Oculus news in 2017 and however long the company continues to support its VR platform in the years ahead.

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