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It's complicated: Oculus and Croteam explain controversial Serious Sam VR exclusivity offer

Hayden Dingman | June 15, 2016
The VR community exploded after a Croteam employee alleged that Oculus tried to buy exclusivity for Serious Sam VR. The truth is a bit more nuanced.

And then here’s Oculus:

“We regularly offer developers financial grants to help fund early development of new titles to accelerate development or expand the scope of the game. In some cases, we exchange funding in return for launching on the Oculus Store first, with the expectation that the game will go on to launch on other platforms. 

In the case of Croteam, at no time did we request that they stop development for other platforms, and we look forward to seeing Serious Sam be successful across the entire VR ecosystem.”

So, assuming Oculus and Croteam are on the up-and-up and this isn’t just damage control, then Kotlar was only half wrong. Oculus didn’t try to “buy” Serious Sam VR. Not entirely, anyway.

Instead, I assume we’re looking at a deal similar to the one struck with CCP to keep EVE Valkyrie exclusive to the Oculus for six months. If you still have an ideological aversion to those tactics, I can’t blame you—I too have more fondness for the old “If one succeeds, we all succeed” attitude the VR community used to pay lip service to—but I can’t fault Oculus (as a business) for trying to get something for its money. I just can’t really applaud them for it, either.

The most you can do is try to support companies that are more magnanimous. Companies like Razer, believe it or not—the company announced yesterday it’s donating five million dollars to help kickstart VR development for games across all platforms, not just its HDK2. Maybe it’s time we look to other leaders in VR and stop treating Oculus like it’s the be-all-end-all, lest they actually become the be-all-end-all.

 

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