Cyberpunk 2077 Dev Not Worried About Half-Life: Alyx Game Because VR Is Very "Niche"

"Are we afraid? No. It is a very different niche."

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The roster of big game releases for 2020 recently grew when Valve, out of nowhere, announced Half-Life: Alyx for launch in March 2020 as a virtual reality-exclusive title. Given that it's been so long since the release of a new Half-Life title, there will surely be pent-up demand that could scare other developers launching games close to it.

CD Projekt Red isn't scared about launching Cyberpunk 2077 in April 2020, however, because the two games are going for different markets. Half-Life: Alyx is designed for virtual reality while Cyberpunk 2077 is going after a bigger audience of players on console and PC.

Management for CD Projekt Red said on an earnings call recently that the company isn't shaking in its boots over Half-Life: Alyx because VR is an incredibly niche market.

"Of course we've seen the Half-Life VR announcement. I think it was a surprise for everybody … VR remains an extremely niche-y niche of the market," the company said. "It's very, very small."

The only reason why Valve would make Half-Life: Alyx exclusive to VR is because they want VR as an industry to grow. The hope is people will be so excited for a new Half-Life that they'll go buy a headset, according to CD Projekt Red.

"The only reason I can think of why Valve has decided to actually put this title on the market is because they actually have a cooperation on the hardware side of the things and I assume they are planning … this is probably a big effort for them to try to expand that niche," CD Projekt Red said. "That niche is very, very, very--and I could add a few verys here--small. So, from the market perspective, are we afraid? No. It is a very different niche."

Whereas Valve is trying to specifically improve VR hardware sales by making Half-Life: Alyx, at least according to CD Projekt Red, the Polish studio is trying to appeal to more people. VR as a business sector remains unproven and not profitable, according to CD Projekt Red.

"[Half-Life: Alyx] is an endeavor to try to push the hardware while we are really targeting the mass market where it is--which is major consoles and PCs without the need to have the VR gear," the company said. "I know there are a few titles here and there that usually showcase [VR] but I have not heard of anybody building an actual valid business on VR so far."

One day, VR might become a viable business, and CD Projekt Red acknowledged that Half-Life: Alyx could be the game to help drive interest in VR. Still, the company doesn't think it will happen soon--if it ever does--so it has no plans to adapt its games for VR right now.

"Perhaps Half-Life will become this first stone that is going to turn into something larger [for VR] as we go, but that's definitely not going to be the case come first half of the next year; I dare say it's probably not going to be next year," CD Projekt Red said. "I don't dare to venture any further because things may change. At some point VR may be a mass market entertainment that will validate the business model behind it but it is not the case, at least not for us, right now."

Half-Life: Alyx is a prequel to Half-Life 2 in which players control Alyx Vance. The game is reportedly a big undertaking for Valve, and among the developers contributing to the project are members of the Campo Santo team that Valve acquired in 2018. The voice actress for Alyx is Ozioma Akagha, who replaces Merle Dandridge from the earlier Half-Life games. New Zealand-based actor Rhys Darby (Jumanji, Flight of the Conchords) is joining the game as a new character.

Half-Life: Alyx is free on Valve Index for those who buy a headset before the end of 2019. The game is also playable on other PC VR headsets made by companies other than Valve.

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Cb4sstian

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Edited By Cb4sstian

I agree 100%. Im not going to go spend a shit ton of money on VR just to play this. I think its a really dumb move on valves part to put this out only for VR. Could you imagine the money they would of made if it was a full release for all platforms. Stupidddd

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Naija

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Wow, what a ridiculous way for CDPR to pipe in on a story that in no way involves their upcoming game. Just an excuse to grab a headline and get their game mentioned. Shouldn't they be more concerned with finishing up the game for its release which is now only five months away?

I'm still expecting a delayed-release because it isn't quite finished yet. Get back to work!

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phoenix1289

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@naija: They were asked about the subject during an earnings call and they answered. What do you want them to do? Ignore the question?

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lionheartssj1

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I think it's more of a financial niche than an interest niche. If capable setups were more affordable, there would be much more incentive from a consumer standpoint. I'm not sure how much of a role fragmentation is playing either, but it looks like Alyx is releasing for all the major headsets, which is good and what needs to happen if VR has a future.

Personally, if I had the disposable income to build a better PC and get a headset, I would be all in. I've had a lot of fun every time I've tried VR.

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Avatar image for Words_of_Ivory
Words_of_Ivory

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Do people still think the majority of gamers care about VR?

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DarthBuzzard

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@Words_of_Ivory: Did gamers care about 3D graphics in the 80s? No. Most people weren't on board until the late 90s and early 2000s.

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Profil84

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@darthbuzzard: Wrong, 3D was absent in gaming in 80' as entire gaming are nearly non existent, in 90' they came with big bang Playstation Nintendo64 and Sega Saturn and stay with us till today, VR came as curio in 90' and go away to come back in 201' to be still a curio, many have tried and buying by themself (as me), trying at friend place or at some conventions/stores and left this alone with whaever feeling, i dont think this will change.

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uubershikamarux

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Do people still think the majority of gamers care about half life?

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santinegrete

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@uubershikamarux: that one good thing about Half Life. It is popular, but not enough to get detractors.

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Atzenkiller

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Since you still need to pay quite a bit of money for a VR headset it's basically a different platform. So it's not like the new Half Life game is coming out on PC and as such there's zero competition for any non VR games. But VR's been around for a while now and so far is still lacking, so I doubt that this game is going to change anything about it. Until they develop a better control system that lets you take full advantage of VR technology it will always remain a niche thing.

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off3nc3

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And they are right on the money.

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mrbojangles25

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Thankfully I live in a world where I can have both.

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santinegrete

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@mrbojangles25: you mean you have an economy where you can pay for both :P

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mrbojangles25

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@santinegrete: I live in a world where I can have both because of my freedom of choice, freedom from brand loyalty, and yeah not having kids or debt to pay for allows for some disposable income :D

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Barighm

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Edited By Barighm

Well, I was always going to take the RPG over the shooter even if it weren't a VR game.

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