HTC launches Vive Studios
First game from publishing subsidiary, Arcade Saga, launches this week
[CORRECTION]: After the publication of this article, HTC reached out to say that Arcade Saga is currently only available for Vive, with no support for Oculus Rift. The error came from the game's Steam store page, which as of this writing still lists the game as supporting both Vive and Rift. The original story follows below:
HTC has been focused on the hardware side of VR with the Vive, but it's now getting into software as well. As reported by UploadVR today, HTC has founded Vive Studios, a subsidiary that will publish both internally and externally developed games for the headset.
HTC VP of content Joel Breton is heading up the label, which debuts this week with the launch of its first internally developed effort, Arcade Saga.
"Vive Studios will use a publishing model similar to console games, where the label will produce first-party content through internal developers, such as [Arcade Saga developer] 2 Bears, as well as partner with external developers," the company said. "For external developers, Vive Studios is now a partner they can turn to for development funding as well as publishing and marketing support on VR content. Vive Studios is actively creating content across key categories for VR including games, education, cinematic, design, social, real-estate and sports, as well as tools and applications that can revolutionize areas such as media, retail, healthcare and location-based entertainment centers and arcades."
In an unusual twist for a platform holder, it does not appear that Vive Studios games will be exclusive to the Vive headset by default. Arcade Saga--which unlocks December 10--is currently listed on Steam as supporting the Oculus Rift headset as well as the Vive.
"We believe content should be open and go wherever consumers want to access it," Breton told the site, adding, "We don't feel that they [Oculus] need to lose for us to win."
Breton said Vive Studios will prioritize "games that are deeper, richer, and longer," as the Vive headset already has a variety of more fleeting experiences. As for how much support the company will provide to developers, Breton didn't want to give any sort of range, saying it would be a flexible model.
"This is a response to the opportunity we feel currently exists around VR," Breton said. "The VR ecosystem needs support and we want to come in and throw our muscle around where it can do the most good."