At the recent Oculus Connect 5 event, Oculus not only revealed a number of exciting new products including the new Oculus Quest virtual reality (VR) headset, but showcased some of the upcoming videogames coming to the Oculus platform. VRFocus’ Nina Salomons sat down with Steve Arnold, Head of Studios, Oculus VR at the event to discuss some of the upcoming titles and find out how the company is building strong relationships with developers to produce high quality VR content.
“So today we’re mostly focusing on our Rift content so for us that’s Stormland, Defector, Echo Combat is here and we’re talking about Lone Echo 2 for the first time which is really exciting. The sequel to one of our best, most highly rated games in VR.” Arnold explains. These titles make up the main headline of Oculus’ videogame offering moving into 2019 and the company are very excited about each of them. He talks about each one to explain what makes them so interesting and why Oculus are excited about them and why players should be as well.
“So we’re start with Stormland from Insomniac Games, they’ve obviously been making games for a long time. This is now their fourth VR game with us, so it’s really cool to see their evolution as a developer in VR kind of what they’ve learned and how they’ve built upon kind of what’s come before and Stormland in particular is a very open world, open exploration game where you have full freedom of movement and locomotion where you to walk, run, climb and even glide over these clouds in the Stormland environment and you’ll be doing a mix of exploration of combat of kind of discovering this land that is regularly evolving and will change over time.”
One of the most anticipated titles coming to the Oculus platform is the upcoming Lone Echo 2, which is the follow up to one of Oculus’ most successful titles released to date. “In Lone Echo 2 which we’re incredibly excited about we’re continuing the story of Jack and Liv in VR and seeing kind of where they go, I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t played the first one but it is a really cool compelling story.” Arnold explains: “It is kind of the closest we have to like a really major franchise that is developing and one we’ve iterated on for over two, two-and-a-half years now so yeah, it’s exciting for us.”
When asked why Oculus went with Lone Echo and developer Ready At Dawn to be their VR franchise, Arnold explains that it is not just one factor but many: “It is kind of a combination of everything, we have a developer that we already know is a high quality developer and we always like working with those and they developed something again in that zero-g locomotion that they do that we knew is compelling almost no matter what you were doing with it, but on top of that they then developed this really cool story where you feel so connected to Olivia Rhodes in the story even as the Jack robot character that we wanted to see that continue, we wanted them to build on that relationship.”
“We only talked about how presence and social interactions are incredibly powerful in VR, I think there is something about social interactions even with an AI that can be really interesting and special where you’re almost convinced that there’s this other character there and you’re living part of their story, so we wanted to see more of that but also we wanted to keep building on that locomotion because we know people love it and it’s kind of fun to do in VR.” Arnold adds.
The full interview, which you can view below, covers a number of title different and goes in depth on what Oculus look for in titles and what players can expect from them, their developers and the titles releasing in the coming months. For more on Oculus and all the latest on the platforms videogames in the future, keep reading VRFocus.