We are at the point in the evolution of the virtual reality (VR) market where those who are part of it are constantly looking around and evaluating the state of it, and how it is to gain more momentum. The head of Survios, creators of Raw Data, gave his two cents, and it is something both hopeful and critical.
In an interview posted on Games Industry, Chris Hewish talks about how fortunate Survios has been in having funding for its VR developments, but it doesn’t always mean it will amount to AAA quality games: “We’re very fortunate that we have great backers, that we’re funded well enough to take a longer view. Our goal, if you’re looking at the existing console business or PC business or mobile business, those are all mature businesses where the objective for any developer or studio is revenue because you can have a fairly predictable outcome. If you put X amount of funding in and you can have a certain quality bar, you’re going to recoup your costs. It becomes much more important about being on time, on budget – it’s much more of a mature business model. With VR my point of view is it’s a new market and we are not at a point yet where it can sustain AAA development but we will get there.”
Right now, as Hewish points, out there are plenty of titles that don’t necessarily fulfill what was originally envisioned for VR: “I’m not bagging on anybody, I don’t have a specific developer in mind, and this is just an example since I don’t know if anyone’s done this, but why would I want to play chess in VR? I can do that in real life. I want to be heroic, with bad ass abilities and go into environments I could never see in real life and be extremely active in those environments. To me that’s the holy grail of VR, that’s what it offers. Getting that into consumers’ hands is the win for the medium.”
If studios do get the funding, then they should be concentrating on the future as well, and how they will sustain: “I would say any studio that does that should be planning, how do they survive after that? Where are they going to get funding next? Or have they put enough aside out of that investment to sustain into the next game when they aren’t getting funded for exclusives? Conversely, they could look to studios that are not doing platform exclusives,”
“With an Oculus or someone it might be more a straight work for hire model, fully funding an exclusive title, whereas for us it would be more a publisher model we’re looking at so there would be an ongoing revenue stream for the developer to help them grow.”
For more on the latest industry comments, check back with VRFocus.