Vive-maker HTC has been adamant that it’s against exclusive content in the VR ecosystem thus far. In fact, it would go as far as to say rival Oculus’ exclusive games are “problematic” for the industry.
Speaking to Gamespot, Vice President of Global VR Content Joel Breton said that Oculus’ own approach to exclusivity with its Oculus Studios games was “hampering developers’ ability to create large communities by blocking them out from other platforms.”
Continuing on, he explained that even though these games might not exist without Oculus’ funding, making them exclusive was “problematic” for developers in the long-term as they can’t develop “relative to the market size” and that Oculus was “putting more cash in than the market can ever recoup, or the developer can ever recoup” thus studios might struggle to adapt with future titles. He said studios were “going to struggle because they’re not able to develop at the size and scope that the market is at.”
He pointed to Owlchemy Labs’ Job Simulator [Review: 8/10] as a case for bringing titles to all available platforms. “They are certainly a success story in early VR of finding a good concept that they can develop within the scope and budgets that make sense for today’s market,” Breton said.
Now that it’s funding and developing games with its Vive Studios banner, though, it’s time to put its money where its mouth is, and the company certainly looks to be doing so. Breton said that HTC is looking to bring its first Studios title, Arcade Saga, to Sony’s PlayStation VR (PSVR). He said that Sony “expressed a willingness to let us do that.”
The game, which was revealed alongside the announcement of Vive Studios itself late last year, already launched on the HTC Vive and came to the Oculus Rift a few days later, but bringing it to Sony’s headset means porting it to another platform entirely, rather than just translating it from one PC-based VR headset to the other. Arcade Saga is a fairly simple compilation of three arcade classics refitted for VR including brick breaking and futuristic bow and arrow shooting.
HTC considers Arcade Saga as a first-party developed game, meaning made internally. As for second-party content, which is made by partners and funded and published by the company, Breton said that developers are free to do what they like. He pointed to Grab Games’ Knockout League, which HTC co-published on Vive, but is also available on Rift. It’s up to the studio itself as to if it comes to PSVR.
Breton disagreed that not creating exclusive content could hurt HTC’s headset in the long run. “Here’s the bottom line,” he said. “We’re not using content as a weapon. We’re using content to help create and sustain the VR ecosystem.”