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VR Needs To Fix Motion Sickness Problems, EA Says

CFO Blake Jorgensen says VR is an exciting technology, though it still has technical hurdles to overcome.

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Dragon Age and Battlefield publisher Electronic Arts is excited about the potential for virtual reality technology like Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus. But before EA brings any of its franchises to VR, those platforms need a bigger install base and they need to fix motion sickness issues, according to EA CFO Blake Jorgensen, who spoke about the topic today during a meeting with analysts.

"We're clearly experimenting with it today," Jorgensen said today during the 2014 UBS Global Technology Conference. "We've run some of our games on two or three of the different platforms that are being developed for virtual reality. Most of those are essentially plug and play into a PC or a game-style console."

"If you look at our games, they're incredibly well set up for virtual reality" -- Blake Jorgensen

"It's very exciting; the challenge is if you are at all even slightly motion sick prone, it's very tough," he added. "I've seen people within 30 seconds have to take the goggles off because ... it is so immersive. It's an incredible experience and I think there's a huge opportunity but there's some technology steps that have to be played out and I think so ways to make sure people enjoy it but don't get sick by it too quickly."

Jorgensen went on to point out that, because EA is in the business of software and not hardware, it supports all platforms that make business sense. Today, this includes Xbox and PlayStation consoles, as well as iPhones and Android devices. But one day, VR could be added to the mix, Jorgensen said.

"If a virtual reality platform takes off, either a standalone or as part of any of those other platforms, we'll be there to build games," he said. "If you look at our games, they're incredibly well set up for virtual reality because we create these big, immersive worlds that people essentially play in. And, obviously it would take more technology to make sure that we're taking advtange of that. Kind of like builiding a 3D movie versus a 2D movie; but we feel very confident that we'd be there and we're going to continue to test all of those."

The two major players in the VR space currently are Oculus Rift for PC and Project Morpheus for PlayStation 4. Neither platform has been released publicly.

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