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Gears Of War Creator On Why VR Might Take A Long Time To Take Off

"Sony's got a great headset but still it's kind of clunky..."


[UPDATE] Bleszinski clarified his comments, explaining on Twitter that, "There's not a lot of 'real' games for VR; too many 'gimmick' experiences [at the moment]."

The original story is below.

Gears of War creator Cliff Bleszinski has "a few ideas" for what he might do with virtual reality, but don't expect his studio, Boss Key, to release a VR game anytime soon.

Speaking to GameSpot, Bleszinski said one of the problems with VR today is that the install base is not big enough. Additionally, the current versions of the headsets leave something to be desired, while developers are facing steep costs, he said.

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"VR is very near and dear to me. I have a few ideas I'd love to play with, but again the friction point is getting VR installed," he explained. "Sony's got a great headset but still it's kind of clunky, the price point, there's a lot of shovelware on VR right now. A lot of crappy Unity games where it's like, 'Oh look I'm throwing a can.' Yeah, big deal right? No actual real games, and part of that is this catch 22 of a lot of the proper platform-holders of VR finding funding. You can't make a really deep, great game arguably in VR for like a million bucks. So you've gotta really pony it up."

One example of a "real VR game," Bleszinski said, is Epic's Robo Recall, which was announced at the Game Developers Conference last month.

"Yeah, it's a wave shooter but, goddamn it looks good," Bleszinski said. "The controls are perfect and they really knocked it out of the park. That's the kind of stuff that needs to happen, as opposed to more friggin' roller coasters and things like that. There's also jump scare games that YouTubers want to do. So there's a lot more to it, but there's like six things right now that are really preventing VR from really exploding in a good way."

Will VR ever become mainstream? Bleszinski thinks it could happen, but not soon.

"I think there's enough people in Silicon Valley and beyond that have deep enough pockets to ride this out the long haul," he said. "I think [Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg] saw the potential in Oculus in realizing like the first time I did touch demo and [Oculus Rift creator Palmer Luckey] was standing across from me as a VR ghost, even though he's in the other room. That's when it gets magical. If I could play catch with my niece in California, that's pretty magical ... but we've gotta start pushing through and working through it all."

"Sony's got a great headset but still it's kind of clunky" -- Bleszinski

Another example of a great VR game is Ubisoft's Eagle Flight, according to Bleszinski. It delivers on a dream many people have of flying--and this can be an affecting, emotional experience.

"The story I like to tell people is when I did Eagle Flight and my wife was in the other room and I was just gushing making these kid sounds like, 'he-he-he-he-he-he,' and I handed her headset, and she was like, 'Why's it all wet?' I'm like, 'Because it moved me to tears.' It's like I've had that dream since I was six years old, of actually flying like an eagle."

Bleszinski participated in an early round of venture capital funding for Oculus VR and said he made a "very sizable chunk of money" when Facebook bought the company for $2 billion.

Bleszinski's current project is the PC shooter LawBreakers, which enters closed beta this week. Keep checking back with GameSpot in the days ahead for more from our conversation with the developer.

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