Dean Hall: Sees VR as "a very expensive Wii"

Developer is cautious about new platform

Dean Hall, the developer best known for creating DayZ, has shared his thoughts on virtual reality and creating games that are right for each individual platform.

"In reality I see this as a very expensive Wii. The Wii was successful because it offered simple, fun, approachable experiences at a low cost. We don't know what kinds of games will sell well, how big the market will be, and so on," he posted on Reddit.

"So our steps with VR are exploration and we're not banking the studio on it. I fear some studios are so swept up with the possibilities of VR they're putting everything into it when we don't know anything about the VR game market. How many people will be buying VR games? and how much will they pay?"

He said his greatest concern was over creating games that people could play for more than 20 minutes while still feeling engaged and comfortable. He also pointed out the upcoming machines are very different in terms of features and capabilities.

"I see a lot of media treating Oculus and Vive as having a relationship like PS/Xbox. Personally I see them as fairly different. While there is some overlap that seem, at least initially, like they are focused in different areas. While you can use each to do what the other is, they're both designed at the core quite differently and seem to me to be retrofitted to also do what the other is," he explains.

"For example, the Vive is focused on positional tracking right from the get-go and it is clear when you use it. Games designed for one or the other work best, IMHO, and I would offer EVE Valkyre as a great example. CCP sat down and made a game for the Oculus and the result was outstanding."

Hall is currently working on a third-person, isometric game called Ion set in space.

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Latest comments (1)

Andy Samson QA Supervisor, Digital Media Exchange4 years ago
VR is the opposite what the Wii is, it will not reach the same level of mass market appeal mainly because the experience offered is very personal. What made the Wii so successful is the intuitive social experience that people of all ages can enjoy together in the same room.

There are potential health risks that comes with using a fully occluded head mounted "3D" device. This is why the 3DS is glasses free and comes with a slider that enables the user to turn off the 3D. The only danger that comes with playing the Wii is you accidentally hitting someone with the remote or damage property while using it without the strap on. You also feel more secured knowing you are not restricted from viewing people around you. With VR, you are detached from seeing "reality" most of the time so it's better used in privacy or with people you "trust".

The Wii is also about family oriented fun, when you talk about VR, violence and "adult content" usually comes into mind. Just look at some of the line up of games for Morpheus, the most talked about have SJW bait material. I do not see grand parents getting VR to play POV games like first person shooters or cavort in "waifu" sim/petting games.
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