Joel Breton, HTC Vive's Vice President of Global Content criticized the investment strategy adopted by Oculus. While speaking at the latest iteration of Game Developers Conference (GDC), Breton said HTC Vive's rival is doing a disservice to the market with its approach to investing in virtual reality (VR) content. The Facebook-owned company has so far invested approximately $250 million in VR content and is planning to invest at least as much in the near future, claiming that its efforts are helping the VR ecosystem as a whole. However, Breton disagrees and is quick to point out that games and other VR content financed by Oculus are required to be exclusive to its Rift headset.
HTC Vive's official said that the strategy employed by Oculus is hurting the VR industry as it's forcing developers to exchange short-term cash for potential long-term success. Oculus' focus on platform exclusivity is hence limiting the availability of many VR titles and consequently hurting the VR industry, Breton claims, noting how these issues are even more pronounced due to the fact that Oculus holds a relatively small percentage of the overall VR market. HTC Vive's executive added that this approach prevents developers from scaling their products to fit the overall market and is consequently stopping them from growing sustainable, long-term development studios. On the other hand, Breton said that HTC is only interested in collaborating with studios focused on contributing to the overall VR ecosystem as the Taiwanese company believes that quality content is the key to fueling the adoption rates of this emerging technology.
Apart from investment strategies, Oculus and HTC also differ in terms of marketing their hardware. The Facebook-owned company recently discounted the price of its head-mounted display, but HTC explicitly stated it has no intentions to follow suit in the near future as the firm believes people will be willing to pay a premium price if their money allows them access to high-quality content. Overall, only time will tell which approach ends up being the correct one in the end, but as things stand right now, the VR industry is bound to become even more competitive over the course of this year.