In the two years leading up to the consumer launch of virtual reality (VR) hardware, CCP Games’ EVE: Valkyrie was often positioned as the poster child for modern VR. Even this wasn’t enough to consider the title that all-important ‘killer app’ however, but moreover the title’s lead game designer doesn’t believe VR needs one.
As a videogame designed from the ground-up for VR, EVE: Valkyrie represented something new for the medium. Even now that the videogame has been made playable without a head-mounted display (HMD) it remains undeniably better when with one. An intense space-based dogfighting simulation, EVE: Valkyrie was for many the only reason needed to invest in the expensive VR hardware. But that wasn’t for everybody, and Andrew Willans, lead game designer on EVE: Valkyrie, suggests that there may never be an application that defines ‘must have’ for everybody.
Speaking at Develop:VR, Willans stated: “One of the things I hear most is, ‘When are you going to do Call of Duty in VR?’.
“We’re over a year into our journey with VR and that killer app is still waiting to appear. I think maybe we don’t actually need one.”
Willans explained by referencing landmark moments in videogame design, citing Super Mario 64 as a turn into 3D videogames and Xbox Live as the initiator of online capabilities both for gameplay and distribution.
“I would argue that Xbox Live was the next landmark moment. It was the dawn of mass market, consumer-friendly online gaming. Did it have a killer app? I don’t think so. I mean it had some great games like Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon, but it was the technology itself that showcased what was possible to players. It was a showcase of the future.”
Willans believes the same is true of VR. It’s not necessarily one single application that will inspire the flood of mass market adoption, but rather the hardware being positioned as welcoming to that audience and the range of experiences available with the technology appropriately represented as new and groundbreaking.
Meanwhile however, CCP Games has recently announced the end of much of its VR production, including putting up for sale Willans’ own CCP Games Newcastle studio. What the future holds for EVE: Valkyrie is unclear at present, but when speaking to VRFocus Willans remained confident about the title’s long-term prospects.
VRFocus will of course continue to keep you updated with all the latest from CCP Games and the future of EVE: Valkyrie.