Oculus Publishing Ignition: Meta Funding New Teams Building For Quest 3

Meta is aiming to help at least 20 small newly-formed teams rapidly build prototypes for Quest 3.

The Ignition program from Oculus Publishing was announced at GDC 2024 “in light of […] the recent challenges faced by the game development industry and the sweeping impact it has had on platforms, publishers, studios, teams, and individuals.”

Oculus Publishing was established as Meta’s brand for third-party publishing relationships at last year’s GDC, confirming 150 titles in the works at the time.

Meta: 150 Titles In The Works With Oculus Publishing
Meta announced Oculus Publishing is the new brand for its third-party publishing relationships, with 150 games in the works.

For Ignition, Meta says it is looking for games that are “more mainstream than niche and broad in scope with compelling Quest 3 interaction mechanics”. A form is available to fill out through August for “original concepts” from teams “established and incorporated” after April 2023. Meta aims to fund those who have “veteran team member backgrounds with strong pedigree of shipped titles”.

The program looks to fund milestones at three month intervals with both the offer of “potential for additional funding on fully-scoped game” and permission-driven connections to external funding partners. At least with this program, the team is promised to retain “full IP, code, assets, design and distribution rights.”

“Meta will receive a limited license to use submitted content in connection with marketing, industry events, social media posts and similar uses,” Meta explains in its announcement. Meta’s detailed terms add that “Any unwillingness by any Participant to grant the required rights to Meta may result in the Participant being disqualified from continued participation in the Program, in Meta’s sole discretion.”

The terms note the application period ends on September 1, 2024 “or when fund is exhausted.”

The initial application is limited to basic information like studio size and location. If you meet the criteria, “meta will contact” participants with more information and a request for a pitch. According to the terms, participants are expected to provide a “detailed pitch (“Pitch”) for a mixed reality (MR) or VR game prototype for Quest 3, a staffing and budget plan (including requested grant amount and a game design document, to be submitted to Meta on a date to be mutually agreed to between the parties, but in no event later than October 1, 2024. All Pitches must be for original games only and may not incorporate licensed third-party content.”

A panel of at least three Meta employees “with relevant subject matter expertise” will review applications “on a rolling basis” judging on “innovation, technical ability, originality and scope/target audience. Additional consideration will be given to games that are broad in scope and appeal to a more mainstream audience, including simulation games, active sports and accessible social titles.”

Meta hosts is Connect conference late in the year for developer and product updates, so we’ll be curious to see if we might hear updates about this program’s first entrants around that time.

Facebook has previously funded Oculus Start and Oculus For Good programs alongside first and third-party publishing efforts. Now, operating as Meta with a more streamlined approach around Quest 3 and beyond, we’ll be curious to see what executives have to say about the scale of this effort in the coming months.