Oculus Rift is "Anti-Social," Grand Theft Auto Parent Company CEO Says

Strauss Zelnick says virtual reality technology will be great for core gamers who want to be immersed, but it might not be well-suited for local multiplayer.

by

The Oculus Rift virtual reality headset is an exciting piece of technology and can be a great way to enjoy games in a more immersive way, but it's not going to be for everyone, according to Strauss Zelnick, CEO of Grand Theft Auto parent company Take-Two Interactive.

"I think for a core gamer, it could be a wonderful experience; someone who really likes to be immersed," Zelnick told Bloomberg. "But a lot of people who play video games, for example my kids, they play with their friends sitting next to them, so that technology is not going to appeal to them. So I think it's very much a core technology."

The interviewer suggested that Oculus Rift was in fact "anti-social," and Zelnick agreed.

"It is an anti-social technology, but we will support it to the extent it's brought to market and it works for our games," Zelnick said. "It is apparently great. Our people who have tried it, love it. I have not actually [tried Oculus Rift]. Everyone says it's great."

Social networking giant Facebook acquired Oculus VR, maker of the Oculus Rift, in March as part of a surprise deal worth $2 billion. The Oculus Rift remains in development and there's no word yet on when the final, consumer version will be available or what it will cost. Fallout and Elder Scrolls parent publisher ZeniMax is currently suing Oculus VR and creator Palmer Luckey, claiming the popular VR technology actually belongs to them.

Also during the interview, Zelnick was asked when the next Grand Theft Auto game--Grand Theft Auto 6--would arrive. As you'd expect, he shot this down quickly. "We haven't begun to talk about Grand Theft Auto 6," he said. Last year's Grand Theft Auto V shipped over 33 million copies and generated more than $1 billion in three days. Sales at this level, and Take-Two's belief that Grand Theft Auto is a "permanent" franchise, make a sequel sound likely. Rockstar Games has even said it has "some ideas" already for GTA 6.

"The risk of having someone else make a movie that's not up to par creatively isn't offset by the potential reward" -- Zelnick on why there's no GTA movie

Might we get a Grand Theft Auto movie sometime between now and when the next installment in the series arrives? Doesn't sound likely, Zelnick said, reiterating what Take-Two president Karl Slatoff said late last year.

"No plans for a [GTA] movie," Zelnick said. "We haven't actually taken any of our titles and turned them into motion pictures for a reason. Because we don't finance motion pictures, it's not a great business. We have conversations about licensing all the time. The problem is the economics around the licensing are swamped by our economics in our core business. So the risk of having someone else make a movie that's not up to par creatively isn't offset by the potential reward."

Finally, Zelnick discussed the role microtransactions play in Grand Theft Auto Online, the multiplayer mode for GTA V. As it turns out, GTA Online was not planned from the start to support virtual currency, he revealed. "When we came up with the notion of Grand Theft Auto Online, our initial thought was not necessarily to have virtual currency in the game. That was a relatively recent thought."

Now, microtransactions are big business for GTA V and Take-Two overall. Zelnick described GTA Online, thanks to the way in which microtransactions allow for recurrent consumer spending, as "the gift that keeps on giving."

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Discussion

236 comments
chippiez
chippiez

Best thing about Facebook Rift will be when you get an achievement in game, your friends will get notified and they can then "like" it, at which point a big ol' virtual 3d Thumbs Up comes towards you and if you track it, you can turn your head and watch the thumb go all up in your ass.

nbf4548
nbf4548

Oculus Rift Local Multiplayer Guide:


Step 1: remove your living room of all furniture.

Step 2: put on your Oculus-branded bike helmet.

Step 3: Yell every two seconds for positional awareness.

Step 4: Enjoy!



predatorGS
predatorGS

Mindless VR bashing... just because their games are not first person... it makes them affraid.


There will always be room for gaming on a screen, just as there will be a place for VR enthusiasts. No need to "warn" the public...


bourne714
bourne714

"VR is anti-social" - well, that's good news for all the shut-in's with social anxiety.  Myself included from time to time.  People are cool and all, but sometimes I wish everyone would just re-boot.....Myself included.

PrpleTrtleBuBum
PrpleTrtleBuBum

GTA or a R* game and local multiplayer? Not since San Andreas.


But I concur. Right now there's no way I would pick Oculus over 4 controller ports.

mtoomb
mtoomb

I'm not buying it until I have 150 ft 3D Virtual Reality screens on my contact lenses. Google Glass is the first step.. Give it a few years, by the time GTA 9 is out we will be playing it on our eyeballs. The Oculus looks cool, but the same reason I can't buy into 3D, putting the damn box on my face in order to make it work.

weactonimpulse
weactonimpulse

You can play alone in a room staring at a screen, or you can play alone in a room with a screen taped to your face. No difference.

If you want to be social with people, nobody is forcing you to use the oculus, and your opinion is not wanted here.

DoomglooM
DoomglooM

why don't we just cut our heads off and stick them into the disc drive?

Zombrex
Zombrex

While I'm not fond of the idea of the Rift, it's no more "anti-social" than Xbox Live or PSN. Playing online has killed same screen gameplay and ruined the idea of LAN parties. I think Rift has the potential to be MORE social than just talking to people through a headset. Imagine years from now being able to actually see your friends(in-game) while playing with them online. 

That being said, I still hate it.

SingletreeAve
SingletreeAve

So here's the thing about Oculus Rift and social media.  People want real time video of the person they are talking to, and nobody wants to see their hot sig other with an Oculus sucking her face,  So it's not going to fly unless they figure out an unobtrusive way to project the VR image into your eyeballs.  I think Zuckerberg f'd up, and OR's main application is core gaming.  Of course the dude is a billionaire, and I'm a working stiff, so I might be wrong.

johnny_kopy
johnny_kopy

People in glass houses should not throw stones.

lilflipp
lilflipp

Don't think it's anti social. Just think it's not what people over hype it to be. It's not anywhere near as immersive as people want it to be.

It's just a screen strapped to your god damn head. Add in your glasses if you wear any, your gaming headset and there you are sitting there looking like a god damn buffoon. Do we nerds need any reason to look even more retarded? No, no we don't, let's not do this to each other.


Xmus942
Xmus942

Not everything you do in isolation is anti-social. Merely playing games by yourself and not socializing is not enough to oppose socializing.  

nyran125tk
nyran125tk

I play games to be anti -social , so i dont care. My interest in Oculus is dropping lately anyway. Its not like i play Mass Effect or Elder Scrolls to have a good ol time with my friends. I play them to be away from reality. Its not like people play Call OF Duty in the same room with friends. You play online with people you either dont know OR people you do know over the internet.


Like reading a book. Gaming is a solitary recreational activity for me.

drybones41
drybones41

Well, the world has already been taken over by smartphones. Nothing like seeing groups of friends on their phones 24/7. Adding the "anti-social" occulus rift won't make a difference.

On a more serious note i do understand why they say so. I mean, imagine a group just sat on the couch all of them wearing a VR headset. It'd be pretty creepy imo. VR is in its infancy and no-one knows what exactly will happen.

byzantine_chant
byzantine_chant

I truly hope Oculus Rift flops like all other VR headsets.

pyosisified
pyosisified

Yep, he's 100% correct, these are going to become the norm, completely replacing monitors by mid 2015, social gaming is ruined...

Wraith3
Wraith3

Here's an idea. If you're playing a game with a person in the same room, you just don't put the headset on.

nurnberg
nurnberg

Except 2 or 3 Nintendo fanboys, nobody cares about local multiplayer anymore.

hyru99
hyru99

Good, I hope it is antisocial. One device where i can escape the world and the people with ass attitude, even those on mmos. I think I have found more @sses on multiplayer games, then good people who I want to befriend. So yea, I hope it is antisocial, PLZ!

Pelezinho777
Pelezinho777

I just love these guys! They just dont give a f***.

LordCrash88
LordCrash88

I wonder if Zelnick's kids play GTA together...

Maybe someone should tell him that only certain games fit to VR, mostly first person games. Surprisingly enough, you usually don't play these games in local multiplayer. He talks about a theoretical problem here because he doesn't even understand the technology and its focus...

DoomglooM
DoomglooM

technology is antisocial...a blind fold and handcuffs built in one

madeus045
madeus045

@lilflipp You've obviously never tried it if you think it's "just a screen strapped to your head".

ratchet200
ratchet200

@lilflipp  I agree with you that it's just a screen strapped to your head, but who's actually going to see you wearing this? It's not like your going to be walking down the street with this giant screen strapped to your head.

The only other people that I can imagine seeing you wear it is other fellow gamers. And if THEY laugh at you it's time to find some new people to game with.

nextgenpantssa
nextgenpantssa

Why? Other than, based on your comments, it seems you just don't like it so it shouldn't be around?

DarkReign2022
DarkReign2022

@hyru99 I'm with you. The human race can go **** itself. When I game, I game for myself. I don't want people around distracting me and I definitely don't want to get online and have to deal with more people being assholes in my game. This is why I'm a singe-player gamer all the way. Looking forward to seeing with OR, Morpheus etc... have to offer as a gaming apparatus and it's applications outside of videogames as well.

byzantine_chant
byzantine_chant

@hyru99  You HOPE it's antisocial? I've never heard (or read) that before...


You'll be getting your wish soon enough, though. When that disgusting VR headset releases.

TimberWolf_CLT
TimberWolf_CLT

@LordCrash88  My thought as well.  He's just throwing chaff about the Rift to get his comments reported upon.

nyran125tk
nyran125tk

@DoomglooM just think..this is only the beginning of technology, we've barely had this kind of tech for 20 years.I mean really hardcore mainstream tech has only really taken off in the last decade. Technology is in its absolute infancy.


What i think about, is it still takes resources from the earth to build technology. So there will ahve to come a time 1 day, maybe not in the next 1000 years (but who knows) when we completely exhaust all resources required to make moniters, metals, computer gear etc.


Humans could very well be back in the stone ages again one day. Surrounded by just junk.

predatorGS
predatorGS

@byzantine_chant @hyru99 When I play a game, certainly a singleplayer game, then why the hell would someone want it to be social.


There is a time for social gaming, and non-social gaming.... then the OR-VR is a nice device.

hi-buzz
hi-buzz

@byzantine_chant @hyru99 ...most gamers will eventually get it sometime in the future by popular demands...it will not be anti-social like some are saying and it still could be use as an MMO if company have it in plans ...it is NOT disgusting by far ..it is a great piece of tech ...and someday most skeptics will be drooling all over to get their hands on it ,because it will be the future of all gaming.

Zloth2
Zloth2

@TimberWolf_CLT @LordCrash88  Uhhh, if you guys would read the article, he does say Rift will be great for some games and they plan to support it.  With some games, though, it wouldn't be so fun.  And he's right.  Civilization on the Rift?  Why?  Or "party" games where a bunch of people are playing an easy console game on the couch?

DoomglooM
DoomglooM

@nyran125tk not the tried and true ages merely just the testing stages....and everyone is pouring what little soul they have left in this and any other "new" infernal contraption...

byzantine_chant
byzantine_chant

@THCpariah I can't afford it? LOL


You are dead wrong, burn-boy. 


If the thought of tens of millions of people (or more) with these things strapped to their heads doesn't bother you, then there's nothing I can say that will make you understand why I hope the Oculus Rifts completely flops. 

DoomglooM
DoomglooM

@nyran125tk only time we open our mouths isn't to breathe but to bitch at eachother lol

DoomglooM
DoomglooM

@gregglle @DoomglooM @nyran125tk no thanks...my life isn't that lacking...why don't you go try crack and then come back when you have the same opinion crackheads have about it lol