Virtual reality devices need to sell 1 million units before Ubisoft gets interested [UPDATE]

[UPDATE] Ubisoft now says the 1 million figure is "not a literal number that Ubisoft takes into consideration when looking at delivering game experiences and content for new platforms."

by

[UPDATE] Ubisoft has issued a statement regarding Raynaud's comments. You can read the statement in full below.

"Ubisoft is always excited about new hardware and platforms and creating innovative experiences. Lionel did mention a number at the GDC dinner, however, it was not a literal number that Ubisoft takes into consideration when looking at delivering game experiences and content for new platforms. In fact, the point he was making was that a number like that would be a leading indicator for growth and impact that could lead to success and adoption from the development community. While Ubisoft continues to work closely with all of our hardware partners, we have nothing new to share at this point in time in regard to these new VR opportunities."

The original story is below.

Might we one day see a new Assassin's Creed or Far Cry game that uses virtual reality technology? According to Ubisoft Vice President of Creative Lionel Raynaud, it's possible, but technology like Oculus Rift or Sony's just-announced Project Morpheus need to put up big numbers first.

"VR would need to sell at least 1 million units to be viable for development," Raynaud said tonight in San Francisco during a roundtable interview attended by GameSpot.

The Oculus Rift headset is currently available to developers only. Developer Oculus VR has made no indication as to when the consumer version will be ready or what it will cost at launch.

Meanwhile, Sony's Project Morpheus--still a non-final prototype--was only just announced yesterday. Sony representatives said during a presentation last night that they want to release the headset as soon as possible and at the most affordable price point.

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

277 comments
lilflipp
lilflipp

My biggest problem is all this "virtual reality" bullshit. The term itself is just a marketing stunt. Look this is not virtual reality, stop lying and bullshit. This is a screen that you strap around your fucking head.


This is as much Virtual Reality as those Red/Blue 3D glasses. Actually that would be the virtual boy, the Occ and others are 3D glasses today. It's still not 3D and it's still shit.


Stop over sensationalizing things. I can't believe people are actually falling for this shit.


Of course I'm excited about VR, but this is not it, this is not the VR, I'm excited about. The VR I'm looking foward to is still far ahead. VR is like some Matrix shit. This just covers your peripheral vision and has some little motion detection that gives you headaches. The idea of VR is super sexy in a nerdy kind of way. So let's not make it less than what it is.


I think Facebook made a big fucking mistake. How are you even going to get rid of the headache, nausea, disorientation, having a screen inches from face causes. You can't really get rid of it. It's going to be so tiring and exhausting to game with that shit.

Pyrosa
Pyrosa

Hard to believe I'm saying this, but... UBIsoft is right.  No consumer VR tech has ever succeeded in the marketplace thus far, and even 3D HDTVs have failed to make a significant impact.


As soon as any VR platform gains enough momentum to survive being a simple fad, then it'll be worth the time investment.  Otherwise it'll just be the latest piece of fad tech to throw into the junk pile in storage.

evil_m3nace
evil_m3nace

Ah no, it doesn't need to sell 1 million for spending maybe couple thousand bucks to implement it in engine. It's just adding an extra camera to the scene people, especially in a game like assassin's creed, that's the kind of game it would be the simplest to implement.

AZN_style
AZN_style

This reminds me a little of the Virtual Boy by Nintendo all those years ago... While VR has been something a lot of old school gamers once dreamed of, i'm not so sure its something they necessarily still want it, unless it can actually deliver a true VR experience with comfort and ease... not to mention a reasonable MSRP...

lostn
lostn

The Wii U didn't have to sell a single unit to get Ubisoft interested. Look how that turned out.

Megavideogamer
Megavideogamer

I will be very surprised if Virtual reality devices sell well. Even if the tech works perfect. The price is going to be expensive. There is no way that VR tech will reach mainstream adoption. $700-$800 is the likely cost. 


Not many people are going to buy at that price. There is no chance that VR tech will launch at $199.99 or $250.00 which is what joe average will "impluse" buy an new tech toy.

chrisx2k3
chrisx2k3

1 million units?...LoL...Not gonna happen. A hefty consumer VR investment only has appeal to enthusiasts, like people that visit gaming web sites. You guys are a vocal minority. Quality VR equipment is too expensive to mass manufacture, and too expensive to mass consume. On top of that, there's a lot of risk in developing software for a platform that doesn't have a significant user base.


It's always the perfect storm for VR. And that's why it's failed upon every attempt to reach large audiences. Some of you are probably too young to realize that the same PR you're getting for the Oculus and Morpheus is unchanged from the pitch offered countless times over the last 20 years or so. On a variety of failed attempts.

Raditz5
Raditz5

Just because they make decent games doesn't mean they would make decent VR. You want VR nerds making these VR experiences. Not someone who has no clue and no interest.

tsunami2311
tsunami2311

I still say this all gona be pasting fad like all the other attempts at it cause it was not done right  just like how 3d gaming didnt take off on last gen,

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

"I know we mentioned a literal number, but we always lie so we didn't think you'd take it seriously!"

Gallowhand
Gallowhand

I think VR would be more suited to a Far Cry game than an Assassin's Creed game, and I'd be willing to try it out for that.  However, if Ubisoft don't feel like developing for VR at the moment, that's fine as well.  Plenty of other fish in the sea.

PinchySkree
PinchySkree

You would only find a way to make a game with a massive open world and nothing to do in it but unrewarding rinse and repeat themepark missions.

Merseyak
Merseyak

haha so thats never this vr shit will never fly it causes to many symptoms

pip3dream
pip3dream

im a huge advocate for VR, however, I don't think that this is going to be the domain of the AAA experience for many, many years. For the reason that Ubisoft has stated, and because of the costs I would think making a AAA VR experience would incur.  I just imagine that a VR game would require different kinds of detailed work, very different than any AAA company has ever done before.


it's definitely fun to think about the possibilities though - it would mesh well with the idea of stepping into an animus with the AC games.  Imagine that Leap of Faith in VR.  I sometimes get the stomach twirls just sitting in front of my TV when I jump 10 stories into  a hay pile!

mr_nee
mr_nee

well that took quite some time

VegasAceVII
VegasAceVII

I had a feeling they would swoop in and try to cover that terrible PR comment.  Of course, it doesn't matter because VR gaming is probably not interested in UbiSoft's countless recycled titles.

juboner
juboner

Hmm, Ubisoft must hate Oculus.

electroban
electroban

The bigger the company the more trash the PR is.  Sweet backpedal Ubisoft, no one actually thinks what you said wasn't a logical business point.



Ayato_Kamina_1
Ayato_Kamina_1

Why are people considering this to be a mistake that needed clarified? It's just simple business. A game company like ubisoft incur quite substantial developing costs when making a game. Factor in that it'd have to work with a new piece of hardware and try and utilise an enjoyable game through it then they're certainly not going to do that if the device is only owned by a couple of thousand. 


Hell, look at the Wii U, that has a moderately decent install base and companies are thinking twice before porting game to it.

mattcake
mattcake

And until I make a million dollars, no ones getting any free sweets from me. So there.

Sevenizz
Sevenizz

Just like the 100 or so VR units that have shown at multiple E3s and other electronics shows, it'll wow trade shows, but won't gain consumer interest. Until it's true-to-life graphics, it's still a cartoon world no one cares to invest in.

We've been down this road more than a few times now.

sortajan
sortajan

I want a VR game where you beat executives to death with hammers.

Fursnake
Fursnake

Ehhh they say that, but when the Assassin's Creed franchise starts petering out they will go VR with it.

OllieBrown
OllieBrown

Man you could totally make a great Sim game out of carefully walking back Executive VP gaffs.

"Bravo team, this is mission control, we have a rogue VP giving concrete information, isolate and initiate operation 'guillotine' immediately!  Off with his head, repeat off with his head!"

barrybarryk
barrybarryk

And here I was wondering why the 6 million selling Wii U is getting no Ubi love these days.

Pewbert
Pewbert

Luckily there are hundreds of indie devs supporting and making great games/experiences for the Oculus Rift.

Those indie devs realise it's about making great games, not just about selling as many units to the public as possible.

Stardust7
Stardust7

Remedy industry will be the true champions...remedies for motion sickness will sell like crazy and motion sickness + VR will be among google top searches. :)

khuzko
khuzko

will it run at 1080p 60fps ?

desghk
desghk

@Megavideogamer  says who? the dev kit for oculus rift cost 350 bucks so chances are a retail product will cost less than that - possibly in the neighbourhood of 200-300 bucks.

evil_m3nace
evil_m3nace

@chrisx2k3  you realize that the VR they pitched to you 20 years ago, was twenty years old?! Thats like saying, ''Im not buying a computer because their pitch of it hasnt changed in twenty years'' Hello, the hardware is completely different than what it was 20 years ago.

Sevenizz
Sevenizz

Because of those six million, hardly anyone buys 3rd party games for their WiiU.

repetitious
repetitious

Yea because none of them would sell out and become a big company given the chance.

origkillmachine
origkillmachine

@Stardust7 I believe they are commonly refered to as pharmaceuticals... Though, Remedy is definitely worth keeping an eye on, too =P

*runs off to play Death Rally*

Riddick123
Riddick123

@khuzko  Will it give epileptics seizures?  If it does I won't be able to get one.

Riddick123
Riddick123

@repetitious  LOL  Like Bioware?


Stardust7
Stardust7

@origkillmachine Thanks sir  ;) English is not my main language and I thought these words were synonyms. 

repetitious
repetitious

Let's fight. Meet me at the rave on the harbor a 10pm.

repetitious
repetitious

Better than generalizing them incorrectly.

Shelledfade1
Shelledfade1

@Riddick123  yes just like bioware, who can no longer make a decent game worth playing anymore it seems.

origkillmachine
origkillmachine

@Stardust7 @origkillmachineclose enough. I understood where you were going with it, so your English is definitely good! But, just fyi, Pharmaceuticals are synthetic medicines, where as a "remedy" is usually used in this sort of context:


A remedy for ___________.


A remedy for the common cold can be anything from chicken noodle soup to Tylonol. Or a remedy for depression can be anything from a daily jog to a regular dose of Prozac.