Long-time game developer Crytek is planning to help transform modern day universities into centers for VR development.
The Germany-based company is launching a partnership program called VR First. Through this initiative, Crytek will provide universities with the VR technology and access to information necessary to drive innovation in VR.
Crytek wants to be working with schools from around the globe and the pilot program for VR first opened its doors at Bahçeşehir University in Istanbul. Crytek will be making the entire source code for their CryEngine developer suite available for free to partner schools. While CryEngine isn’t currently used by many VR developers, using the tools the company made a visually-stunning VR experience called The Climb, which places people on the side of a mountain. Early VR developers often do their work in Unity or Unreal Engine. If this program is successful many next generation developers would learn to make VR using CryEngine instead. It is unclear exactly what hardware Crytek will be offering partner schools or whether HTC, Sony and Oculus will be participating — hardware partners are listed as “coming soon.”
VR First is the latest in a series of VR incubation programs announced recently. The same day as Crytek’s announcement, the Japan-based Tokyo VR Startups announced their own VR research fund and incubator program. Last March, OSVR launched a similar operation that provided universities with dev kits and access to the OSVR source code. And UploadVR announced the Upload Collective to house innovators and spearhead progress in the space.
Crytek is currently accepting applications and inquiries for VR First from any interested institution.