Last year’s Game Developers Conference (GDC) proved to be a big one for virtual reality (VR) technology as Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) revealed its Project Morpheus head-mounted display (HMD) and Oculus VR introduced the second development kit (DK2) for the Oculus Rift. French publisher Ubisoft took the wind out of fans’ sails towards the end of the event, however, stating that VR HMDs would have to sell one million units in order to become viable for development. Now, despite the lack of a consumer HMD release, Ubisoft has confirmed that it is working on VR videogames.
Company CEO Yves Guillemot revealed as much in a recent quarterly earnings call, as noted by Gamasutra. “First, we believe a lot in virtual reality, because we see it’s really giving a chance for gamers to be immersed in worlds,” Guillemot said. “We are developing a certain number of games that are going to take advantage of these new possibilities.
“What we are doing is working on the different brands we have to see how we can take advantage of these new possibilities, while making sure we also don’t suffer from what comes with it, which is the difficulty to play a long time with those sorts of games.”
Guillemot didn’t comment on exactly which franchises it was bringing to VR, nor which HMDs it was working with. It’s hardly surprising to learn that Ubisoft is working in VR already, despite its comments in 2014. Earlier this year it was revealed that the publisher had joined the Open-Source Virtual Reality (OSVR) ecosystem. Traditionally speaking, the company has also been a keen supporter of new product launches over the past few years, bringing software to everything from Nintendo’s Wii U to peripherals such as Kinect and PlayStation Move.
“We are very bullish about the potential [of VR],” Guillemot concluded. “We think it’s going to bring more players into the universe of Ubisoft video games, and we are going to come with our brands.”
This week saw Ubisoft reveal the latest edition to its Assassin’s Creed franchise in Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate. Could this be one of the series due for VR treatment? VRFocus will continue to follow the publisher’s progress with the technology, reporting back with the latest from it.