Oculus First-Party Studios Aiming for Naughty Dog Quality

Oculus VR, the company behind the Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) headset, recently announced that Jason Rubin, co-founder of Uncharted and The Last of Us developer Naughty Dog, had joined its team as head of worldwide studios. At the time the company confirmed that Rubin would be responsible for first-party content, but has only detailed what that really means at this week’s E3 2014 in Los Angeles, California. In fact, Oculus VR’s Nate Mitchell revealed that Rubin will be striving to reach the level quality that his former developer operates at.

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“I think the jury’s still out on how big the studios should be,” Mitchell said of its first-party teams, in an interview with PC Gamer. “We do have a number of little initatives internally, whether it’s apps or experiments or even mini-games that we have been developing. But what Jason’s really going to be focused on is taking those teams to the next level and building out, you know, a robust team that can actually deliver sort of an epic quality level that you would expect from someone like a Naughty Dog which, you know, Rubin was one of the co-founders of that team.”

This E3 saw Naughty Dog reveal the first in-engine footage for its upcoming Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, as seen below. Needless to say that if Oculus VR’s own studios can reach the kind of visual fidelity achieved in that trailer, then it could become a major videogame publisher, let alone hardware manufacturer.

“So how big should those teams be? I’m not sure,” Mitchell concluded. “We’ll probably start small, do a lot of prototyping, iteration, experimentation where we’re hiring the best and brightest out there if you want to, you know, take part in that. And then we’ll grow from there and see how big we need to be.”

So far Oculus VR has announced that it will be publishing two different videogames, though neither are from internal studios. Instead, EVE: Valkyrie is developed by CCP Games and published by Oculus VR on PC, while Lucky’s Tale from Playful Corp. is published exclusively by the company. When will we see the first Oculus VR first-parties emerge? VRFocus will continue to follow the company’s development and report back on any progress.

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