Virtual reality may be getting a healthy dose of green slime in the very near future.
According to James Stephenson – senior VP of animation and games at Nickelodeon – the children’s network is actively considering VR and its potential for upcoming projects.
“For us it was an offshoot of a lot of the technical development we were doing for CG animation,” Stephenson told Variety.
Nick certainly knows what its doing when it comes to creating memorable animated content. It is the originator of such legendary shows as Rugrats, Doug, and Rocket Power, and has also found recent success with enduring classics like Spongebob Squarepants. However, when it comes to transitioning itself into the virtual domain the company has decided to work with a partner who understands the landscape ahead: Epic.
Kim Libreri is the chief technology officer for Epic – the company behind the 3D graphics engine: Unreal. According to her, Epic has been aiding Nickelodeon in the development of VR tools and content.
“They’ve been asking all the right questions and they’re very smart (about) how they’re looking at this process,” Libreri said.
Epic isn’t the only tech expert Nickelodeon is looking to ally itself with. The network is also seeking counsel with Apple, Google, and Amazon to ascertain its best possible VR strategy. Understanding the tech is important but – according to Stephenson – Nickelodeon’s primary goal at this time is cultivating a solid stable of artists with an interest in VR content.
Stephenson is also concerning himself with nurturing an environment that will allow Nick’s eventual VR projects to thrive. “I think it’s going to emerge as a platform, so it will have its own storefronts, its own medium and business rules,” says Stephenson.
The VR content scene is heating up fast. Traditional companies are announcing new immersive initiatives, and industry stalwarts are continuing to launch more ambitious endeavors. However, Nickelodeon would still be a heavy hitter even in this steadily crowding arena.