New technology drives the videogames industry as it searches for the next big thing. For a lot of companies that next big thing is virtual reality (VR); full immersive 3D gameplay that puts the viewer in the centre of the action. But there are company’s that are viewing VR with caution and even pessimism due to not one head-mounted display (HMD) actually being consumer ready. Warner Bros is one of those companies that wants to see how the user base develops before committing to a project.
Executive VP and General Manager David Haddad from Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment (WBIE) recently spoke with GamesIndustry.biz about the current climate with VR, saying: “We love being able to innovate interactive experiences, storytelling, character, and character development and we think ultimately this is going to be another tool to do that in the future. We have our R&D efforts in that area. We still need to get to a place where there’s an installed base to really commercialize it. So it’s too early to talk about anything specific, but I think anytime you see this much creativity, this much energy, this much attention, and you see such interesting experiences coming out of it… We think it will be a great thing for gaming over the long term.”
So while WBIE are interested in VR and the possibilities that it can provide against traditional platforms, the popularity is still unknown. Big publishers like WBIE have to consider the large financial investment AAA titles can cost to produce and the install base will have an effect on that decision.
Haddad goes on to say: “In some sense, you have to get to a stage where you have an installed base of these devices where you can attach the experience to that. It does make investing in it at a very early stage something that has to be carefully considered. And the lens that I personally look at it through, as well as my senior team, we’re still looking for that defining, must-have piece of content. Simply doing it to be ‘me-too’ in the space, or doing it to have a single interesting experience isn’t where we ultimately want to land on this. And we’re still working on that and trying to find those ideas,”
Gamer’s may have to wait until the HMD’s have fully launched before some of WBIE biggest and most popular franchises are seen in VR. VRFocus will be following all the announcements from WBIE and its VR intentions.