While the main Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2017 is still a few days from opening every year it’s preceded by several press conferences by some of the big name players in the industry. Today marked the first, from Electronic Arts (EA), with the company showcasing some of its latest and upcoming titles. Unfortunately there wasn’t any virtual reality (VR) related videogame news – that includes Star Wars Battlefront 2 – but there was a hint towards the technology, with EA unveiling a research and development (R&D) organisation called Search for Extraordinary Experiences Division (SEED).
Again no mention of VR was made during the conference, just that the division has been created to explore new technologies and the creative opportunities for future content. But it’s on the official SEED website where a little more can be learned.
Currently all that’s listed are several vacancies – mostly based in Stockholm, Sweden, with a couple in Los Angeles, California – looking for a Senior Technical Artist, Rendering Engineer, Deep Learning – Research Enginner and more. Within these listings is the first mention of VR, saying: “Our areas of research include, but are not limited to, virtual reality, procedural content generation, deep learning, creating truly realistic characters and how we build and render completely new game worlds.”
“SEED is expanding its Future Worlds team, exploring the boundaries of real-time visuals and potential new approaches to how we build & drive content. We are currently focusing on new ways of rendering content, truly interactive game environments, spectacular visuals, as well as procedural content workflows.”
While some big name studios such as Ubisoft (Star Trek: Bridge Crew, Eagle Flight) have begun to to embrace VR, EA has been a lot more hesitant with producing or saying anything positive – with the only exception being Star Wars Battlefront Rogue One: X-Wing VR Mission for PlayStation VR. The listings certainly show a far more positive outlook towards VR but as yet it’s still too early to tell what EA’s plans might be.
VRFocus will be following the developments of SEED closely, reporting back with any VR announcements.