Oculus is assembling a big portfolio of VR games for 2017, with a new Studios title every month from now until December. But why pace these releases so aggressively? Because it wants to put one of VR’s major complaints to rest.
That’s what Executive Producer David Yee told me when we sat down to talk earlier this month. I asked Yee what Oculus was hoping to see when they looked back on this year by December or early next January.
“We want to hear from people that they’re not waiting for real games anymore,” he said. “We feel like we’ve developed some real games here from real developers that are hours of experiences and not minute demos or little tech demos.”
Yee believes one of this month’s Studios exclusives, Epic Games’ Robo Recall [Review: 7.5/10], was the start of beginning to prove that, also adding that giving it away for free was a way of rewarding early adopters. A lack of full, high-quality games is one of the biggest complaints people leverage against VR in this state; even industry evangelists like Cliff Bleszinski have been saying as much in recent weeks.
By the end of the year Oculus will have released other big games like Lone Echo, From Other Suns, Wilson’s Heart, and The Mage’s Tale, all of which are weapons in the battle against VR’s image problem.
Yee also hopes that developers will continue to learn lessons for this year’s Studios slate. He looked back to year one, explaining that many developers had spent the year learning about the benefits of the company’s new Touch controllers.
“What a lot of people don’t know is that Wilson’s Heart and Lone Echo also started as gamepad games,” he revealed. “Our developers were figuring out how do we make this work with the two buttons and basically trying to pull the trigger. Are they going to have arms on the thumbsticks? So as soon as the developers got Touch earlier in the last year they’re like, “We’re all in.”
Oculus hopes similar lessons are taken from the next year so that we might see another big jump in Studios titles for 2018, too.