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Oculus Favouring Funding Developers Over Owning Them for Rift Launch, CEO Suggests

Last year saw Oculus VR hire former THQ CEO and Naughty Dog founder Jason Rubin as the President of Worldwide Studios. Almost exactly one year on and Rubin has played a big part in securing new content for the Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD) including the likes of Edge of Nowhere from Insomniac Games. But what fans are yet to see is a true first-party studio, a team of Oculus-owned developers, making their own content for the device. According to CEO Brendan Iribe, this might not be something they see for a while yet.

Iribe recently suggested as much to Fortune noting that, in terms of the Oculus Rift’s launch, the company is favouring funding studios over owning them. “In a way it’s like our own first-party games,” Iribe, stated. “But instead of having a bunch of internal teams like you see Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft have, we’re going out there and funding a number of these great teams from the very beginning to make content for the Rift for launch, or shortly after.”

What’s not clear is if internal teams will eventually become a part of Oculus VR. Rubin is, after all, the President of Worldwide Studios, which would suggest that he would need some studios to actually run in the future. VP of Product Nate Mitchell also spoke about his appointment at E3 last year, confirming that the company was looking at owning development studios, though it was still deciding factors such as the scale and number of these teams. Intriguingly, he also teased that the aim was to establish a team that could produce Naughty Dog-quality titles for VR.

It was thought that the company had already internally-developed a title in the form of HeroBound: First Steps for the Gear VR mobile HMD, though it was later revealed that this was created in collaboration with Gunfire Games, the team behind the already-released sequel and the upcoming Chronos. VRFocus will continue to follow Oculus VR’s work with development, reporting back with the latest updates.