Image from playstation.com
Thoughts regarding VR & the indie scene
- It is an era of opportunities
We often talk about the lack of new and exciting IP's when it comes to normal video games. There are number 5,6 and 7 being released in franchises. How about something new?
With Virtual Reality coming, we see a lot of new franchises. The reason for that is several. One of them definitely being the fear of investing money into something that might be just a fad. Do you remember when 3D TV's were supposed to be the next big thing? Are there even being 3D content being released nowadays for the home entertainment systems?
Never mind, that is beside the point. My point is, big players are afraid that virtual reality will suffer the same fate that other technologies have suffered.
This is where the playing field is left wide open for new players. A lot of independent game developers are taking the chance to get in on the action. Let us say that an indie studio releases a game that will be known as one of the biggest and best titles for VR during 2017. Their next titles will have a huge hype. Their first game might have granted them some nice money but if they manage to follow that up with another quality game, they are probably set for life.
"... potentially gigantic titles are not taking any chances.."
There are a lot of small mini games released for virtual reality. I know that there is a Batman game released. But have you heard a lot about it since the release? If I remember it correctly, it was mostly about the feeling of dressing like Batman. Yes, I will probably get that myself simply because I want to wear the cowl. But it is not something we can compare to a full game.
I saw a free game when browsing the PlayStation store the other day. Some sort of Spiderman application. I have not heard anything about that either. These potentially gigantic titles are not taking any chances. They are not developing full games for virtual reality yet.
".. virtual reality takes the horror games to a completely new level.."
There are very few exceptions I'd say. One of the biggest franchises on the market that went virtual reality straight away is Resident Evil 7!
Resident Evil 7 is a complex game in many ways. You walk around instead of being stationary. That is quite the step from being a game where you always stand still to a game where you can run around and explore freely. The graphics are really nice as well compared to a lot of VR content that has been released so far. I have not played many minutes of that game yet. It is not the game you want to be playing when your kids might surprise you. I have a hard time describing how horrible it is to walk around in Resident Evil 7. Virtual reality takes the horror games to a completely new level. It is near my personal limit for how real of an experience I can handle. I freak the f... out. Capcom have delivered a fantastic game.
A game that will play a big part in the success or failure of virtual reality is Fallout 4. That game has the potential to show us that virtual reality can be this big game full of content, taking place in a big world. No matter how great Resident Evil 7 is, it is more or less taking place in one house (and the garden surrounding it). Fallout 4 is, as we already know, a big post-apocalyptic world where you can walk around freely and explore. Will we have that exact same freedom in Fallout 4 VR?
It won't be the end of the world if Fallout 4 VR were to flop. But it would probably mean that the big players keep their big franchises away from VR for the time being.
Have you found any new games that has the potential to grow into huge franchises in the future?
I am no high level programmer that can create games. I am curious whether the programming for virtual reality is very different from the normal games. Is it more difficult for indie developers to create things for VR? I have the feeling that it is the same engine that is used for VR that is used for normal games, the Unreal Engine. So that is perhaps not a huge difference.
I will try to get more details in the weeks to come by talking to developers of virtual reality content. Make sure to check Zonezter for updates in the weeks to come.
Virtual reality is a thing that will be exciting news in the months to come and we will of course follow the development.