EA is looking to enter the Virtual Reality gaming world
EA is always looking for new and innovative ways to slip micro-transactions into your life, and their latest plan? To have you literally (virtually) hand over your hard-earned cash, through the world of virtual reality. Or maybe this time the idea will be to just make some really good games we only have to pay for once… I can dream.
Joking aside, EA is the latest in a short line of companies to announce it may be jumping on the VR bandwagon. CEO Andrew Wilson recently said in an interview with Polygon that his company breaks gaming into three “modalities”: “lean back”, “lean in” and “lean over”(So tempting but too easy).
“Lean back”, as he puts it, is relaxed gaming done from a sofa. “Lean in” is typically gaming done on a PC and “Lean over” gaming is done on mobile devices. He believes VR will add a fourth “modality” to the list: “get in gaming”, which he said with a completely stoic expression.
Wilson went on to say: “The thing I challenge my team to right now is, ‘Listen, there’s clearly a desire to add a modality of play to the three we’re currently focused on. I don’t know who the technology partner is that’s going to deliver that modality for us, but let’s start thinking now about the experiences […],’ so that we can deliver experiences that make sense for you; experiences that deliver on the promise and the fantasy of being inside a video game.” From this it would be safe to assume that EA isn’t looking to produce its own VR headset, but to capitalise on the other ones being produced, most likely by investing heavily into virtual reality games.
Wilson says that “Get in” gaming could be delivered through a VR headset or “through some hologram that evolves out of your living room floor” – Is he suggesting I could have my own Cortana? I can only hope so.
The long and short of this is that EA is thinking way to much about how we interact with our games, and nowhere near enough about how much everyone hates micro-transactions.
Whether you love or hate the idea of wearing a ridiculous headset to play your games, safe in the knowledge that you will never know love again, Oculus Rift has rocketed from Kickstarter hopeful to multi-million dollar business in the blink of an eye. Sony and Valve are now rumoured to be developing their own VR headsets for PlayStation 4 and Steam respectively after the success of the Oculus Rift, and I’m sure more tech giants will follow.
Call me when we have a holodeck.