Editor’s Note: This interview was originally published on June 18th, 2018 and is being republished on August 10th to coincide with Bethesda’s annual QuakeCon event.
Original: Bethesda is one of the biggest game publishers that’s actively supporting the VR industry. Between Bethesda, Ubisoft, and Sony, you probably have well over the majority of the VR market in terms of revenue and awareness.
Last year, Bethesda launched Skyrim VR on PSVR, DOOM VFR on PSVR and PC, and Fallout 4 VR on PC all within just a few weeks of each other. Earlier this year Skyrim VR made the transition over to PC as well. That’s a lot of VR games in a short period of time.
“We were really pleased with how the three of those turned out on their various platforms,” said Hines. “We’re aware of all the, ‘Well, what else is Skyrim coming out on?’ jokes, but that version [VR] was a really good version of that game. DOOM VFR, Fallout 4 VR, we’re just really pleased with how all of those performed and were received. We’re going to continue to look at VR like we do at all platforms in terms of what’s a good fit for that platform and seeing what we’ve got and can it work.”
A big narrative in the VR market right now is that there just aren’t enough headsets to sustain development costs for bigger games. In other words, even if a game is great and every single person with a VR headset buys a copy, it’s still hard for developers and publishers to recoup costs of development. That’s why ports of already massive games like Skyrim and Fallout 4 make sense.
The question though is: Do people actually buy these massive, hundred hour long games in VR?
“They’ve done really well,” Hines said. “Skyrim rocketed right to the top on PSVR and stayed there, when we released Fallout 4 VR on Steam it shot to the top and stayed there. When we released Skyrim VR on PC it did too, DOOM VFR has done really well. When it comes to any install base more is always better, but yeah, they did well.”
It’s not a numerical value in terms of sales, but it at least tells us that Bethesda is pleased with performance nad intends to continue investing in VR. Hopefully Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot shapes up over time though, as we were not impressed with that E3 demo, while Prey’s VR support won our favorite Vive experience at E3.
Let us know what you think of all this down in the comments below!