Fox, MGM Make VR Moves

20th Century Fox has become the second major studio to announce a partnership with a virtual reality production company to produce original VR content based on the studio’s properties.

Fox and its Fox Innovation Lab have reached an agreement with Emmy-winning cinematic VR company Felix & Paul Studios to develop and produce VR content based on Fox’s franchises. Sony Pictures in September did something similar, announcing a partnership with Reality One to produce VR content based on the studio’s films and franchises.

“The Fox Innovation Lab has long understood that virtual reality requires an entirely new language of storytelling, enabling audiences to engage with characters and stories in ways never before possible,” said Ryan Horrigan, chief content officer for Felix & Paul Studios and head of the studio’s L.A. office. “Fox continues to take a major leadership role in this new medium and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to co-produce premium cinematic VR experiences and series that will captivate audiences worldwide.”

Mike Dunn, president of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and Fox Innovation Lab, added: “Felix & Paul Studios is a visionary studio that represents the highest caliber of immersive and engaging experiences, and their vision for bringing virtual reality to mainstream audiences makes them a perfect partner to help realize the possibilities for the future of consumer entertainment, from both a creative and technical perspective.”

It was Felix & Paul Studios which helped Fox develop its very first cinematic VR experience, based on the film Wild, in 2015.

Meanwhile, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) has announced it’s led a Series C round of funding for Los Angeles-based virtual reality tech start-up Survios, with MGM chairman and CEO Gary Barber joining Survios’ board.

Survios is developing its own VR publishing and development platform and will add third-party content titles to its VR slate, with plans to expand overseas.

“We are thrilled to be in business with Survios, a true pioneer in the virtual reality space,” Barber said. “Survios is the ideal partner for us as we continue to explore the most innovative ways to optimize our existing IP, create exciting new content, and expand into emerging platforms.”

Nathan Burba, cofounder and CEO of Survios, added: “I’m humbled to have Gary join our board and to bring on such a storied partner as MGM. This puts us in a position to achieve our goal of becoming the leading publisher and content creator in virtual reality.”

Survios first VR endeavor was the game Raw Data.