When Oculus got purchased by social media giant Facebook, people knew things had changed for the VR segment.
No longer a minor player, Oculus was now armed with tons of cash and a marketing platform unlike any other out there.
With an early dedication to bringing VR tech to the average consumer, Oculus has also been keen to develop close relationships with VR game devs.
And while analysts continually speculate about the future of the niche, Oculus parent company Facebook is not only confident in its division but also optimistic about the future of the segment as a whole.
That might be why Mark Zuckerberg initially pledged $250 million to Oculus app development in 2016 and the recent Oculus Connect 5 event bolstered this commitment even further.
Pledging to fund VR app development on the Oculus in order to pave the way for the future of the segment as a whole, Oculus co-founder Nate Mitchell told Games Beat that part of this pathway towards the future includes an increased emphasis on multiplayer and cooperative virtual reality experiences. This, of course, will require tons of development dollars given the complexity of having two people play together optimally and effectively.
Some of the titles that Oculus has cosigned include Insomniac’s upcoming VR title and Lone Echo II from Ready at Dawn. Other major developers for the platform such as Ubisoft are also working together closely with Oculus to bring truly next-level gameplay to VR.
As for what exactly this money is being spent on details were unavailable but the language of partnership and cooperation was emphasized throughout his interview with the gaming publication according to Venture Beat.
One thing Oculus is interested in attracting is the triple-A, blockbuster titles that often dominate console gaming. Seeing these titles as necessary launch points for building a bigger audience for VR, Mitchell describes the way forward as a mixture of the innovative indie titles often associated with VR platforms and big-budget titles.
Hewing closely to the line touted by many VR industry analysts, diversity of gaming experiences as well as how compelling those on offer are will be two factors that largely determine the segment’s future. Knowing this, Oculus can help to encourage diversity of experiences on offer if not necessarily the quality thereof.
The next big leap for VR is to incorporate social elements and multiplayer in the titles launched on the system. Taking advantage of the immersive elements offered by VR gaming while also making a gameplay style that works on the format are two dueling challenges that many devs who want to make multiplayer games on VR face.
Social elements are probably more easily implemented than competitive multiplayer and it is easy to imagine series like The Sims making an interesting title for a socially-focused title. Part of the reason Oculus is pushing social functionality in VR, of course, goes back to their mother company Facebook. Indeed, if Oculus can somehow harness that social media platform’s audience into its own thing then the company will have a behemoth on its hands indeed.