Fortnite developer Epic Games offered to make a new game for the launch of Sony’s PS5 VR headset in a bid to enable cross-play, according to a recent report.
Yesterday The Verge posted alleged email exchanges between Epic Games Vice President of Business Development, Joe Kreiner, and Sony’s Senior Director of Developer Relations, Gio Corsi, from around 2018. In the emails, Kreiner attempts to persuade Corsi and the wider PlayStation brand to enable cross-play support in multiplayer megaton, Fortnite. As we all know, cross-play was eventually implemented on PS4 but Sony was infamously slow to support the feature – it didn’t arrive until long after it was enabled on Xbox, PC and Switch.
In the first email, Kreiner lists out potential perks to sweeten the deal, including PS Plus extras and E3 branding. But, interestingly, he also floats the idea of a new game for the launch of Sony’s then-unannounced PS5 VR headset.
“Epic’s willing to explore more items,” the email reads, “maybe we commit to a game at the launch of your next VR platform?”
The article doesn’t elaborate on that suggestion, nor if it might have gone any further than that email. Epic was once heavily involved in VR development, working on multiple tech demos for the Oculus Rift before launching a full VR game, Robo Recall, as a Rift exclusive in 2017 (which was eventually ported to Quest by a different studio). Since then, however, the company hasn’t been very loud in the VR space, save for updates and integration to its Unreal Engine developer kit.
Since the article was posted The Verge claims that Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has in-part corroborated the story, specifically that Epic agreed to a cross-platform revenue share scheme put forward by Sony that compensates it for any potential loss of revenue to other platforms.
Sony’s PS5 VR headset (which still doesn’t have a name) wasn’t announced until earlier this year, but we still don’t know too much about the device. We’ve seen its controllers but the headset itself remains under wraps, and it won’t launch until 2022 at the earliest. It will be some time before we start to see a content line-up for the device and have any idea on if this deal went ahead, then.
Would you have wanted to see a new VR game from Epic on the PS5 VR headset? What do you think it could have been? Let us know in the comments below!