December 16th, 2015, 22:40 Posted By: wraggster
A big question has followed Oculus around since its Rift unveil back in June: How will it persuade the public that virtual reality is ready for primetime? Today we have the answer: Oculus VR has announced that Eve: Valkyrie, CCP's multiplayer dogfighting shooter, will be a pack-in with every pre-order of its upcoming VR headset when it launches in early 2016.
Aaron Souppouris, Senior Editor
"We want to be the Halo or Mario for the [PlayStation VR] and Oculus." That's what Valkyrie executive producer Owen O'Brien told me back when I previewed the game in April. Today's news made his wish come true. While more recent platforms have launched without them, traditionally pack-in games were common. And they've been especially important for establishing new concepts or accessories, with many going on to become iconic titles. Nintendo used this trick often: think Game Boy and Tetris, SNES and Super Mario World, or the Wii andWii Sports. Oculus clearly believes Valkyrie is the right title to imbue the qualities of VR to the masses.
CCP, the game's developer, made its fortune from the Eve:Online space MMO, but in recent years subscriber numbers haven't been moving in the right direction, and it's laid off a lot of staff. As well as trying to spark interest in its MMO through frequent updates, it's poured money into virtual reality development, hoping to get into the field early to make the money it needs to survive. We probably should've seen the pack-in coming -- Oculus is publishing Valkyrie, after all -- but the fact that everyone with a Rift on launch day will get the game is still huge news for CCP.
The jury's still out on whether Valkyrie is the best game to showcase VR for first-timers.While CCP's gamble has been vindicated, the jury's still out on whetherValkyrie is the best game to showcase VR for first-timers. Here's the problem: I'm not the best person to judge its success. I've played a healthy amount of VR over the past three years, during which I've played Valkyriein its alpha and beta stages. My thoughts on the game are not going to be a great analog for a "first timer." My colleague Nathan Ingraham, however, approached the game with fresh eyes.
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