News: Magic Leap Reveals First of Developer Grant Winners & Promises More Recipients Amid Developer Complaints

Magic Leap Reveals First of Developer Grant Winners & Promises More Recipients Amid Developer Complaints

Ten days after Magic Leap declared that it had selected the winners of its Independent Creators Program, the company has officially released an almost full list of grant recipients.

For its first round of grants, the company filtered its submission pool of more than 6,500 applicants down to at least 31 recipients in a blog post published on Thursday, though some winners have opted to "remain in stealth" and reveal their projects on their own timeline.

Grant recipient Resolution Games has already ported Angry Birds to Magic Leap One. Image by Resolution Games/YouTube

"We're looking forward to seeing what the coming months have in store for these Creators, and will be taking you along the way as they bring their vision to life," the company wrote in its blog post. "Stay tuned for more information on their projects, and the next opportunity to apply to become part of our Independent Creator Program."

Among the winners are Resolution Games, the studio that brought Angry Birds to Magic Leap, and Spatial, who recently demoed its eponymous AR collaboration app on stage with Microsoft for the reveal of the HoloLens 2.

Image via Spatial

Last week, VIM AEC, creators of an app for visualizing 3D construction models, and Minsar, a company in the process of building an app for designing and distributing 3D content, disclosed their successful grant awards.

In addition, Magic Leap will award Magic Leap One devices to nearly 200 additional developers based on their submissions.

In the meantime, the program team has some time to refine its process for announcing the winners, as the first round has been met with some backlash from the developer community. One Twitter user labeled the program as the Magic Leap 'Third-Party' Porting Grant." Others criticized Magic Leap for its lack of transparency in the process.

In response, Rio Caraeff, chief content officer for Magic Leap, chimed in to explain that the process entails the chosen few agreeing to the terms and conditions of the program, and the program team moving on to the next applicant should the chosen applicant decline the agreement.

"Primary reasons are that teams have underestimated their development time and costs when they go from an estimate to an actual plan. Second reason is that they are not available to proceed due to other projects or obligations," said Caraeff in a tweet explaining why some winners have walked away from the signing table.

Regardless of the public perception regarding the outcome, Magic Leap has accomplished what it set out to do, and that is bringing more developers and their content to the Magic Leap ecosystem. In the grand scheme of things, the Independent Creators Program, with awards ranging from $20,000 to $500,000, is a relatively small investment that could result in multiplying the available content for the Magic Leap One.

For a company with aims to bring its flavor of augmented reality to the mainstream, content will be a key to convincing consumers to come onboard and, despite the critics, it looks like the program is off to a good start.

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Cover image via Minsar

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