Oculus Rift's Killer App Won't Come for Several Years, Dev Says

President of Worldwide Studios at Oculus VR thinks a true blockbuster Rift title won't come for quite some time.

Will it take several years to find the first blockbuster virtual reality game? That's what Jason Rubin, the president of worldwide studios at Oculus VR, believes.

On Twitter, Rubin said that he believes that the Oculus Rift VR headset's first game with an Angry Birds-level of success is still a long way off. "I believe VR's Angry Birds is going to take a few years to find. But there's plenty of fun (and success) to be had along the way."

In recent months, Oculus VR has continued to expand its reach and work on becoming a competitive platform for games. Recently, the company announced plans to acquire design firm Carbon in order to work on several upcoming projects. Oculus has also revealed that it is seeking manufacturing partners because it can't produce enough headsets to fulfill its goals for VR.

Game developers rarely devote massive resources to a platform until it has sold reasonably well. What hardware creators often must do, then, is sell their products on the potential of future games down the line. Oculus says that it is remaining committed to games after its acquisition by Facebook, so more titles will be announced in the future. But does the Oculus Rift have enough promise right now with games like EVE: Valkyrie and Lucky's Tale for you to consider being an early adopter? Let us know in the comments!

Alex Newhouse is an editorial intern at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @alexbnewhouse
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Discussion

35 comments
NX75
NX75

It seems like I'm the only one thinking of it this way, but I imagined VR would be like color TV, as in... what do you mean, killer app? Everything's going to be in color unless it's deliberately trying to go for a retro flair. The VR itself should be the killer app. If they feel games have to be designed from the ground up for VR, then I've lost all interest; it's nothing more than a gimmick and all we're ever going to see are more of the same tech-demo mini-games we already have.

consumed_chaos
consumed_chaos

Angry Birds level of success!!!! And not GTA V level of success ?????

C-THREE
C-THREE

I got 2 words for ya.... star citizen!

mkeezay22
mkeezay22

I think Elite Dangerous is the killer app it needs, ship every unit with a copy of that game and I guarantee it sells a ton of units

pa_amb_tomaquet
pa_amb_tomaquet

Are we really calling games "apps" now? DEATH TO THE CELL PHONE ERA OF MINDLESS TEXTING DRONES.

mshidden
mshidden

Games will be cool, but it is social interaction, that I think will be the killer app, of VR/AR.  One thing I think people might forget is that AR and VR are different ideas.  Like what is a smartphone without a front facing Camera, and a rear facing camera, we just assume both. What you could do that is kinda cool, is to have a bar that is both quiet and dark. To understand what is going on you have to put on your VR headset.  The idea that you can overlay an informational reality over another physical reality is in my mind a provocative idea.  Such that a Park, could be given a new personality simply by changing the station on your vr headset, some realities could be public but others could be private.  In the end the more interesting things that you can do, don't necessarily really look like traditional games, so the killer Game?  Who knows, maybe it will just become the VR way of life.

LucentWolf
LucentWolf

It's a game! Not a freaking app! Arrrrrrrgggggghhhhhhhhhh... Must go on a crusade to fix this horrible newfangled name!

hystavito
hystavito

Citing Angry Birds worries me, as it could be considered an indication of their attitudes and ultimate goals for the Rift.  People like to think it's all about serious and core gaming, but a lot of things point to a very different direction, a direction that many fear from the Facebook purchase.

joehendrey
joehendrey

Virtual reality is so obviously going to be huge. People have been obsessed with the idea since someone thought of it. The question is not if VR will succeed. It's if occulus will be the ones who do it

straightcur
straightcur

Will be a gimmick for a niche crowd.  With sales even lower than the Wii U, no game developers will be able to afford to put a serious effort in to making games for it.  So it will ultimately fail quickly, unless they develop their own games.  Even then, I don't see mainstream appeal.  People will think it's pretty cool to try, but not to buy and use regularly.  Other than the niche crowd, most people will not like strapping a screen to their face and completely disconnecting from the real world.

High-Res
High-Res

Dudes, this thing is Epic Fail. It will never work, no one will ever buy it. It's a stupid gimmick. Let it go!

Sven_Viking
Sven_Viking

Note that nobody at Oculus has said an Oculus Rift killer app won't come for several years -- those are Gamespot's words. Check the Twitter link to read what was actually said.

There's a difference between the worldwide phenomenon which is Angry Birds -- with comics, theme parks, pervasive merchandise, a feature film on the way etc. -- and what is commonly termed a "killer app". Saying Oculus Rift will have something as popular as Angry Birds within a few years is more like a boast than an admission.

holenjd
holenjd

I can play Star Citizen, Alien Isolation, and Asseto Corsa all on this so it's a day one purchase for me.

battlefront1943
battlefront1943

And this is why...

... Sony has the best chance at widely accepted VR.

Yes, Sony might mess it up, but their Morpheus is closer to market and has the best chance at "first blood" with teh number of Sony internal developers.  Now, if Sony can't capitalize on those two things, then there might be a real competition.

ps -- and it does seem likely that Sony will allow Morpheus to cross platforms from PS4 to PC...  although probably not software. 

GLOBALv
GLOBALv

Make Superman for this and I will fork over $500.

crushbrain
crushbrain

A killer app is mandatory. OnLive made this same mistake. Kept promising the power of the cloud, but never offered anything powered by the cloud. Kind of useless to have a vr machine with no killer vr action to enjoy.


Nintendo had Mario. Apple had Angry Birds. Even xbox had titan fall.

hordicus
hordicus

i'd rather a brother in whorehouse than a sister who wear this pathetic gadget and who post on facebook...

xcollector
xcollector

If the the Wii was released without Wii Sports it would have never sold like it did. If you wait many years for that killer app people will forget you even exist by the time you get around to it.

atopp399
atopp399

Yet we see multiple articles almost every day of it.  Oh well...

kazansky222
kazansky222

@mkeezay22 Yea, I agree Elite Dangerous is an amazing Oculus Rift Game in addition to what the writer mentioned. Also Star Citizen I imagine will turn out fo be a very good Oculus Rift game, I'm also excited to see some racing/driving games with native Oculus support.

leeko_link
leeko_link

@LucentWolf A killer app means a system seller. It's a software or game that could persuade the consumers to actually go out and buy the hardware just to use/play it. It could mean anything in the electronic world, in PC, games like World of WarCraft and Age of Empires are killer apps. In terms of consoles, usually launch games like Super Mario World (SNES), Sonic Adventure (Dreamcast), Wii Sports (Wii), Super Mario 64 (N64), and Golden Axe (Sega Genesis) are killer apps because they persuade consumers to buy their system in able to play them. In terms of handhelds, there's Tetris (Game Boy), Pokemon (Game Boy line), and Monster Hunter (PSP) just to name a few.

Sven_Viking
Sven_Viking

Don't worry, they've just said you're safe from something like Angry Birds on the Rift for several years. Rejoice!

NikoKun
NikoKun

@straightcur As an amateur developer, and someone who's bought both Rift DK1 and DK2, I couldn't disagree more.

As Michael Abrash put it, VR could be the "Final Platform", for literally everything.. And at $300, any indie dev can afford to get into VR development. So a LOT actually are getting into it. Many of us have dreamed about it for decades, since we were kids, and now it's finally here. The mainstream game developers are still too hesitant to put their efforts into a VR game for now.. But regardless, there is already around 200 indie/amateur games/demos on Oculus Share, and almost a dozen mainstream games have pledged support for the Rift.

Even without huge mainstream support, VR is going to move forward, and get huge, now that it finally works. Those of us who are early adopters, are going to have a huge edge. ;P

NikoKun
NikoKun

@High-Res Tell me.. How else can gaming advance, if not by VR? Do you think we're going to use flat-square screens forever? Cause that'd be a pretty silly thing to think..

VR is simply the natural progression of gaming.. It's destine to eventually get to VR. So what could possibly be a gimmick about such a leap? What is so "fail" about it?

Unlike the VR attempts of the past, now the technology is finally ready. VR is finally reaching that magical level of presence, that you hear about in scifi stories about VR. You literally feel as if you're present in another place. But you wont believe it until you put it on yourself.

This really changes everything, it's going to greatly benefit gaming, but also everything else. Ain't no gimmick.

Sven_Viking
Sven_Viking

People who've played them have variously pointed to EVE: Valkyrie, Lucky's Tale, Elite: Dangerous and others as VR's killer app.

Ultimately only time will tell. Not everyone would have picked Angry Birds for a worldwide phenomenon after seeing its trailer for the first time, and that's compounded in this case since it's not even possible to show what VR games are like in a video on a monitor.

LucentWolf
LucentWolf

@leeko_link " A killer game means a system seller. It's a software or game that could persuade the consumers to actually go out and buy the hardware just to use/play it. It could mean anything in the electronic world, in PC, games like World of WarCraft and Age of Empires are killer games. In terms of consoles, usually launch games like Super Mario World (SNES), Sonic Adventure (Dreamcast), Wii Sports (Wii), Super Mario 64 (N64), and Golden Axe (Sega Genesis) are killer games because they persuade consumers to buy their system in able to play them. In terms of handhelds, there's Tetris (Game Boy), Pokemon (Game Boy line), and Monster Hunter (PSP) just to name a few. "


There, I fixed your paragraph. -.- GAMES NOT APPS. ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRggggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.


/seizures on floor.

battlefront1943
battlefront1943

@Sven_Viking I think what Sven was getting at is...  there is currently VR competition coming up fast...  and OR saying they're years away from a killer app doesn't feel like a strong position.  It would have been better for OR to have said nothing at all... instead of "wait two years."

I think OR is trying to slow the "hype train" before it derails.

Sl4cka
Sl4cka

* Looks over @LucentWolf, checks his pulse. A moment later turns to face the GS tr0ll crowd - "I'm sorry, we lost him..." *

Sven_Viking
Sven_Viking

Agreed, although also note that Oculus didn't actually say they were years away from a "killer app", that was Gamespot putting words in their mouth. There's a difference between something like Angry Birds or Pokemon which are multimedia franchises known to almost the entire world, and something like Titanfall which is merely a "killer app".