While there’s no doubt that the virtual reality (VR) industry has seen significant funding, to continue development whilst attracting the best talent (and promoting current creatives) more investment is needed. So today, Kaleidoscope has announced the official launch of its VR fund, to help independent VR creators and studios raise money for their original projects.
Funding is still an issue for many developers so Kaleidoscope has built an invitation-only marketplace, limited to 500 members, in which leaders of the industry will be able to get a first-look at new films, videogames and other experiences available for pre-sales, licensing, and other partnership opportunities.
Those who apply and are then selected to join the fund will pay $199 USD/month to see curated projects from top artists, with projects from Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca, and IndieCade, work from established teams like Baobab Studios and new creatives such as Eliza McNitt, Arnaud Colinart, and Arjan van Meerten, all available at launch.
“The biggest challenge to the future of virtual reality is funding,” says René Pinnell, co-founder and CEO of Kaleidoscope in a statement. “And we want to solve that problem. It’s a chicken-egg situation. Artists need funding to make killer content and funders need to prove there is a massive consumer market to sell to in order to justify their investment.”
Prior to the official launch of Kaleidoscope’s VR fund it has already managed to secure $3 million for projects such as APEX, Testimony, and Mad God, as well as a number of unannounced projects currently in development.
But that isn’t enough. The next-generation of VR hardware is just around the corner, with lighter, wireless, standalone devices due to be launched in the next year or so. “That’s why the industry needs to rally around funding content now,” adds Pinnell. “It takes 12 to 24 months to produce high quality VR films, games, and experiences. We need to fund projects today so that when the next generation of hardware is released we have a deep library of amazing content ready to go. Only then will the industry take off.”
For VR to continue momentum it’s crucial that funding programmes like Kaleidoscope’s exist, investing in high-quality content for future consumers. If you want to find out more head to the Kaleidoscope VR Fund website, and keep checking back with VRFocus for the latest updates on the VR industry.