Facebook and Oculus commit $250M+ for VR content, diversity, education

Oculus wants to make sure the next computing platform isn’t dominated by white males like the last ones. The company has announced it will put $10 million toward supporting VR app and video creators of diverse backgrounds, including women and people of color.

This comes alongside Facebook and Oculus committing to invest another $250 million to help developers accelerate the proliferation of high-quality VR content. The company has already invested $250 million in VR content so far, and now it’s doubling down.

The diversity funding will go toward its Launch Pad and VR For Good programs, as well as “amplifying new voices.” By supporting diverse VR filmmakers, audiences will get deeper understandings about life, justice, inequality and more from a new perspective. Oculus is also launching the Diverse Filmmakers Project today.

$10 million will go toward Oculus’ NextGen program, which will bring Unity workshops plus hardware from Samsung, AMD and Oculus to universities so they can expand their own VR content creation programs. VR also holds huge potential for invigorating learning of other subjects beyond computer science. Educational VR apps could make the classroom more exciting, allowing students to step onto historic battlefields instead of studying them through bland textbooks.

To make it risk-free for developers to build on the Unreal engine, Facebook will pay for their Unreal royalties on up to the first $5 million in revenue a developer earns. This way, they only pay if their app succeeds.

$50 million will be earmarked for mobile game developers. While the tethered Oculus Rift gets a lot of the attention, mobile platforms like the Oculus-powered Samsung Gear VR and Google’s Cardboard and Daydream headsets are the front line of the VR revolution. Their portability and affordability make them easy for new users to try, giving them their first taste of the larger VR landscape.

All in all, it’s a good time to be a VR developer, because Facebook is fronting a ton of money to give them a jump-start.