Virtual reality has seen a serious push from the the gaming community like never before, with multiple platform options emerging for players and big name developers creating games specifically for them. While the support feels like it is real, a feeling still lingers that support isn’t 100 percent all in from AAA developers.
Some publishers are bringing their big name brands to VR platforms, like Warner Bros, with their upcoming game Batman Arkham VR, or EA, with Star Wars Battlefront VR. The franchises are there, but it remains to be seen if this content can truly measure up to the AAA reputation that mainstay console versions of Batma and Star Wars Battlefront have already shown.
It’s hard not to get the feeling that companies want to fully embrace VR, but they won’t or can’t until platforms like PSVR truly prove themselves as legitimate homes for gamers. Former Starbreeze developer Hess Barber talked about his view of AAA developers, and his belief that they aren’t necessarily putting the same type of investment into VR games as they maybe need to.
“We feel that AAA companies haven’t truly committed to VR yet, and so our experience and talent make us unique. We know that VR’s install base is too low currently to see reasonable sales figures, but we’ve timed our development schedule so that by the time our first games are ready for release, we should see VR HMDs more commonly adopted by households, especially with the coming release of PlayStation VR and the growing momentum of other popular platforms already available,” Barber told GI.
Ubisoft would be a company where one could look at the games they’ve bringing to VR and say they’re experiences that are not “truly committed to VR.” The company has even stated that they’re not attaching major brands like Assassin’s Creed or Watch Dogs because of the level of risk that’s involved with publishing on VR with an uncertain install base.
It’s very difficult to blame AAA companies for not putting more into upcoming VR games. Virtual reality seems like it is here to stay, but it’s not the same thing like it is on consoles, where developers can create fully fleshed out AAA experiences for a new platform and know an audience will be there when the game launches.
PlayStation VR could be virtual reality’s greatest opportunity to claim a bigger audience, simply because of the current install base of PS4 owners that are already out there. The new platform will be launching on Oct. 13, and who knows? Maybe we’ll even see the upgraded PS4, codenamed Neo, launch alnogside it.
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