The 69th Emmy Awards nominations are out, and while it’s true the Emmys were created to recognize excellence in the television industry, virtual reality as a medium has been lauded with six total nominations this year, three of which are thanks to content created by Oculus.
There isn’t an official ‘VR’ section of the Emmys, rather the nominations have been spread between two categories: ‘Outstanding Original Interactive Program’ and ‘Outstanding Creative Achievment in Interactive Media Within a Scripted Program’.
Outstanding Creative Achievement In Interactive Media Within A Scripted Program
- The Mr. Robot Virtual Reality Experience USA Universal Cable Productions, Here Be Dragons, Esmail Corp. and
Anonymous Content (360 video on YouTube)
- Stranger Things VR Experience – Netflix – Netflix and CBS Digital (360 video on YouTube)
- The Simpsons – Planet Of The Couches – play.google.com – Gracie Films in association with 20th Century Fox Television and Google Spotlight Stories (download here for Google Cardboard)
Outstanding Original Interactive Program
- Dear Angelica – Oculus Story Studios – Oculus (download here for Oculus Rift)
- Mission: ISS – Oculus – Magnopus / Oculus (download here for Oculus Rift)
- The People’s House – Inside The White House With Barack And Michelle Obama – Samsung / Oculus – Felix & Paul Studios
and Oculus (download here for Oculus Rift)
Oculus’ Henry, the company’s Pixar-esque VR cartoon that follows the woes of a lonely hedgehog, won the 2016 Emmy for Outstanding Original Interactive Program, becoming the first VR original narrative to do so. While the company’s production studio Oculus Story Studios—which saw the release of Lost, Henry, and Dear Angelica—is now shuttered, Oculus says they’re earmarking $50 million of the $250 million they recently committed to invest in VR content exclusively for external investments in “non-gaming, experiential VR content.”
This effectively means Oculus will be funneling funds away from internal production in order to further grow the nascent industry of VR-based narratives. There’s no word on whether these $50 million will come with platform exclusivity however, although it would make sense from a business perspective for Oculus to do so. More high-quality, exclusive content on the Oculus Store equates to a high perceived value in their growing milieu of VR headsets, possibly including a reported Oculus-branded $200 standalone VR headset to come next year.
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