Investment in virtual reality continues to accelerate with Gear VR on more heads everyday and the Rift, Vive and PlayStation VR coming in the first half of 2016. In advance of the big consumer push, Japanese mobile game company COLOPL is preparing to invest up to $50 million in both VR hardware and software.
COLOPL is betting VR will become a robust platform and home to a variety of software experiences beyond just games. The company’s fund looks like it’s the largest dedicated to the budding VR industry, five times larger than the recently announced fund put together by Presence Capital that is focused on augmented reality and virtual reality technology.
In a prepared statement COLOPL President and CEO Naruatsu Baba said:
VR can be expected to expand beyond the games business to other fields, and COLOPL is convinced that VR will become a platform that provides a completely new experience unlike anything human beings have ever experienced before. VR is likely to become established as an industry, and COLOPL desires to invigorate the companies involved in the VR industry and create a future in which the everyday lives of people around the world become more enjoyable and wonderful.
Last month COLOPL created 360Channel, a subsidiary specializing in 360-degree video. While COLOPL’s focus so far has been on the creation of games and experiences in VR, their interests and investments will be directed at all VR-related categories, including hardware, software, games and other VR content, 360-degree video, distribution platforms and other areas.
COLOPL is responsible for a number of mobile games that are not well-known in the west but they do have one Gear VR game already in the store. The hack and slash role-playing game Shironeko VR Project is free in the Oculus store. Here’s video of a Rift version of the game: