The gaming industry tends to see new technologies emerge in the form of new consoles from manufacturers like Sony, Nintendo or Microsoft, but in the coming months, Virtual Reality (VR) will take center stage as it tries to grasp the brass ring of a sustainable audience. A lot of companies are excited about VR, while others are taking a wait-and-see approach. No matter the strategy though, the entire industry is watching.
Some companies have expressed interest in investing in VR from the start, but a lot are waiting to see how the technology performs at during its first year or so on the market. Activision is keeping a close eye on VR devices like the Oculus Rift, but they are not planning on having technology drive content.
As they have done with the PS4 and Xbox One, Activision has their own process of creating and that largely doesn’t have much to do with the type of technology its developers are dealing with. In an interview with atombash.com, Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg talked about VR and the company’s approach to the new platform.
“I think it’s exciting to see all of this investment and innovation happening in the industry and any new platform or technology that gets people excited about playing games is good for us. We really do start our process with the idea and not with the technology or the platform.
“We don’t say, ‘okay, there’s this new technology, this new platform, let’s go design new games for it,’ anymore than we did with the Move or Kinect. There are some ideas where it’s a lot more natural to imagine and some that aren’t,” Hirshberg said.
Activision is no different than most major companies in the gaming industry. While they’re willing to talk about VR, there is still a strong tone of wait-and-see that’s detectable. For companies that put AAA types of investments into their games, they cannot afford a misstep, especially when talking about an unproven platform like VR.
The gaming industry has done so much, but still there are so many unknown, undiscovered frontiers for the business to conquer. Whether it’s a game’s mechanics, story or visuals, we have yet to see the best from this incredible industry. Hirshberg talked about what gaming needs to do in order to continue maintaining long-term success.
“I think we are still in our infancy as a storytelling medium. I do think there have been some recent breakthroughs and some real steps forward. I think that The Last of Us was a great story with great characters. I think Advanced Warfare was a step forward, it had a lot of those movie-like properties of caring about the narrative and not just the interactive elements.
“An unsung hero of this is Skylanders, I think Skylanders has a story that kids really care about and the fact that Skylanders has a role for the kid, the Portalmaster, and they’re part of the narrative is maybe one of the most elegant uses of interactive storytelling of recent memory.
“When I look forward to the future, given everything going on with immersive technology, the games, graphics and hardware all being more sophisticated, it can become an even better storytelling medium than it currently is,” Hirshberg said.
Activision is getting ready to launch a slew of major games over the next few months. Skylanders Superchargers, Destiny: The Taken King, Guitar Hero Live and Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 will all be released before the year is over.