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Turtle Rock: We’ve Built an Entire Team To Work On VR

Turtle Rock is probably best known for its action shooter titles, such as the successful cooperative zombie shooter Left 4 Dead. Now the studio has begun to work seriously on virtual reality (VR) titles such as upcoming fantasy RPG The Well, and Turtle Rock President Steve Goldstein has spoken about its involvement with VR.

In an interview with GamesIndustry.Biz, Goldstein explains that the company is now large enough that it can split its focus, and has responded to the rise of VR by creating a team specifically for VR-based projects: “The team worked on a VR experience called Face Your Fears. Face Your Fears is this jump scare type experience where you can select from a choice of different scary environments where horrible things happen to you. And it took off. It went viral. And it made us realize, ‘Wow, this could be something real.’ We’ve built an entire 30-person team to work strictly on VR stuff.”

Turtle Rock’s VR work has mostly involved the Samsung Gear VR mobile VR platform, for two main reasons. One is that the large install base means the title reaches more customers, and the other is that Oculus have partnered with Turtle Rock to help fund its VR projects: “As an independent developer, it would be tricky for us to just be able to put a bunch of money into our own VR products, but that’s the same thing as if we were putting a bunch of money into our own game. It’s just very difficult for us to do given the types of budgets that we’re used to working with on the games front.”

Goldstein is also convinced that VR is a growth industry, though it is yet to find the point that will lead to mass adoption: “We’ve not yet hit that Apple IIE moment, that Atari 2600 moment, but I think that’s going to happen soon, especially as you read more about untethered headsets. If we get to the point where I can put on a headset and there’s no cord, there’s no exterior sensors, there’s no computer, and I am in a virtual world and I can go wherever I want, I think that’s the point in time where we’re going to start seeing mass adoption.”

VRFocus will bring you more news on Turtle Rock’s VR projects as it becomes available.