The Oculus Connect 3 event is underway in San Jose, California this week with the company focused on promoting its upcoming motion controllers, Oculus Touch. The keynote address today has been the main thing everybody’s been waiting for, and there’s been one very big surprise announcement for Unreal Engine developers.
Oculus has been supporting virtual reality (VR) indie developers for sometime now, through investments and other initiatives, but today its gone one further. Epic Games’ Unreal Engine is one of the most popular middleware development programs in the world, frequently used by VR studios to create their projects. The software is completely free to download and use, enabling anybody to have-a-go. Epic Games makes its money by charging a 5 percent royalty fee on gross revenue made by the videogames published.
In today’s announcement Oculus has now stated it’ll cover any of these royalty fees for any experiences that ship on Oculus Store, up to the first $5 million USD of gross revenue.
This makes Unreal Engine a far more interesting prospect for developers considering what videogame engine to use. Rivals include Unity and CryENGINE among many others, and for VR development with Oculus Rift or Gear VR support, this allows studios – especially the many VR indie teams – to maximise their earnings from VR titles. This can then make all the difference between making a profit or not.
Epic Games also supports indie developers through its Unreal Engine Dev Grant scheme. This was set up in 2015, allotting a $5 million pool that’s distributed to innovative projects built in and around Unreal Engine 4.
VR projects and developers that have already received grants include: Adam Horvath; Phosphor Games – The Brookhaven Experiment; Milica Zec –Giant; Cyan – Obduction; Polyart Games; Sam Macaroni – Terror Web; Hollow Tree Games – Shape of the World; Innervision VR – Thunderbird and RealityArts – Void Runner.
VRFocus will continue its coverage of Oculus Connect 3, reporting back with the latest announcements.