Platform exclusives can be a contentious topic, and much has been said and written on the subject by videogamers, developers and manufacturers. At the Reboot Develop Conference, Matt Conte of Oculus gave his opinion on the subject.
Conte is the head of development engineering for Oculus and was speaking as part of a talk on effective design for virtual reality (VR) where he covered several issues that developers must take into account – including audience size.
According to GamesIndustry.Biz, Much of Conte’s talk covered familiar ground, discussing topics such as locomotion solutions, play space restrictions and other challenges that developers should consider when creating for VR. His opinions on cross-platform capability were striking.
“You want to build exclusively for VR,” he said. “There are some exceptions to this rule, but they are very few. Your title should be built so that your users can do something that they can’t do in any other game.”
This could be considered a response to several titles which were formerly VR which have now introduced an option for non-VR players to join in. Or it could be aimed at developers such as Bethesda who have adapted non-VR titles into VR.
It was his comments on platform exclusivity that drew the most attention, however, as Conte insisted that developers should be building titles to work on every available VR platform. This seems to indicate that Oculus has changed its stance on exclusivity, something the company had previously embraced.
“You want to reach the broadest audience,” he said. “I’m not going to mince words: VR is still small. There’s not as many headsets out there as we thought there might be a couple of years ago. It’s growing, and it’s actually growing at a pretty decent pace, but every decision that you make you should be thinking about: How does this get my title into the most users’ hands as possible? Some people find it weird that we tell them to ship on all platforms. We don’t want exclusivity. We want VR to thrive. But VR is a niche, and you don’t want to be a niche within a niche.”
For further news from within the VR industry, keep checking back with VRFocus.