Japan’s Fuji TV, Gree join forces to boost virtual reality businesses


This is a guest post authored by “Tex” Pomeroy. He is a Tokyo-based writer specializing in ICT and high technology.

L to R: Naoki Aoyagi (SVP of Business Division, Gree), Makoto Yamaguchi (Senior Executive Director of Content Creation, Fuji Television Network)

Tokyo-based private broadcaster Fuji TV and online gaming giant Gree recently established “F x G VR Works (tentative name)” based on an agreement to collaborate in developing business and services including content production / distribution as well as platform construction related to Virtual Reality (VR). This project seeks to combine the strengths of the nationally-networked television broadcaster and Gree, which has game and Web development prowess in addition to having announced its first VR title at the Tokyo Game Show in September of 2015.

In connection with such moves the Tokyo-based tech company established its GREE VR Studio last November. Moreover, it has also been a linchpin figure at the Japan VR Summit which was held on May 10th and gathered many of the leading-edge players in this industry. Furthermore it has just this April established an investment fund focused on VR start-ups in the Americas.

Japan VR Summit, Tokyo (May 10th, 2016)

It is said that VR technology can be applied not only to entertainment such as visual programmings and games not to mention theme parks but also may be applied widely to use in the medical and scientific research arenas. 2016 is said to be the break-out year for VR, with Oculus VR having started shipping in March of the Oculus Rift head-mounted display (HMD) and HTC commencing its HTC Vive product from April. The Sony entertainment unit is also planning to begin sales of its PlayStation VR in October to further expand VR use.

Fuji TV is running from last year within the Fuji TV On Demand (FOD) integrated entertainment service its next-gen image distribution tech-based R&D endeavor “FOD Labo” which offers 360° panoramic VR content along with a 360° VR live performance coverage for the “Love music” TV program. With the collaboration, Fuji TV and Gree will henceforth create more opportunities to experience VR and help this market to develop further in this promising new field that could grow rapidly. For further info, access http://www.fgworks.jp (Japanese).

Fuji TV's FOD Labo
Fuji TV’s FOD Labo

Disclosure: Fuji TV is an investor in The Bridge.