Respawn Entertainment announced today that they’re partnering with Oculus on a major new VR game coming in 2019. The as-yet-untitled game will be war-themed, and promises to put players into the virtual battlefields in way they’ve never experienced before. That’s the tone of the video, anyway, which features Vince Zampella unironically using the word “visceral.”
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This all comes as a part of the Oculus Connect conference, which streamed out earlier today. There’s little detail beyond this, but a new Respawn game is reason enough to be interested, especially after the quality of Titanfall 2.
Respawn was created in 2010 by Vince Zampella and Jason West, who had previously founded Call of Duty house Infinity Ward. Titanfall released in 2014 to solid reception, and its sequel was a mainstay of 2016 game of the year list, though neither necessarily had the commercial success to compete against the likes of Battlefield and (at the time) an increasingly futuristic Call of Duty. These days, Respawn is continuing work on Titanfall and their as-yet-still-mysterious Star Wars game, alongside the new VR title.
It’s cool to see Oculus partnering with major developers on VR titles, but their previous endeavors in the same regard haven’t exactly pushed back on the mainstream stigma of VR being a gimmick. Take this year’s Lone Echo, for example. A solid game with solid critical response developed by Ready at Dawn, and yet it seems to have completely disappeared following its launch earlier this year.
VR tech is good, but the bits of software which have come so far haven’t done much to move the needle on the public disinterest that followed the launch of Oculus and Vive. A Respawn game has the potential to turn the tide, but it’ll be a tough job.