Viveport Development Awards offers cash prizes for VR apps

HTC is giving away $500,000 in prizes to get developers to try its SteamVR alternative.

How do you attract developers to a fledgling virtual reality content delivery service for a VR headset that already has a shopping platform? With half a million dollars in cash and prizes, of course! Today, HTC announced the Viveport Development Awards: a contest with a $500,000 prize pool designed to attract developers the HTC's global VR app store.

Viveport's Development Awards is open to any developer that submits an app to the platform from today, and five finalists each will be selected for each category: the Viveport "pillars" of Discover, Create, Connect, Watch and Shop. From there, a panel of judges will pick the grand prize winners -- though HTC says all of the final nominees will be awarded prizes.

The contest also kicks off Viveport's Developer Beta and community pages -- which contestants will need to use to submit their projects. With any luck, the awards program will help Viveport build a strong library for the consumer launch later this year. If not? Well, at least we'll always have Steam.