Luckey Points to Sony in Defending Oculus Exclusives

by Jamie Feltham • June 21st, 2016

Oculus is catching a lot of heat for securing exclusive content on the Rift lately, but kit creator, Palmer Luckey, is quick to point out that the company isn’t the only one doing this.

Speaking to TechCrunch in an E3 interview, Luckey pointed to Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) and its upcoming PlayStation VR headset for taking a similar approach to funding and making deals for exclusive games. “You see Sony investing in their content the same way,” he said. “They want to make things that take advantage of their features that they have in the best way possible.”

Edge of nowhere

He continued, noting that he feels this approach is how the VR industry will move going forward, and that this was a good thing in both the short and long-term. That said, Luckey understands the frustration that some HTC Vive owners would feel at not being able to play Rift exclusives on their kit. “The reality is, I can see where that’s painful for some people, but that doesn’t mean that it’s bad for the VR industry, or that it’s fragmenting it, or in the long run, it’s not the right way for the ecosystem to work,” he said.

The creator remained bullish about the future of exclusives on the Oculus platform, confirming once more that games developed under the Oculus Studios partnership – which include the likes of Insomniac Games’ Edge of Nowhere and Crytek’s The Climb – will remain exclusive to the Rift and Gear. He also reiterated that Oculus does not ask indie developers to stop working on games that they’ve already been working on for other platforms besides theirs, instead opting for timed exclusivity when funding such projects.

Oculus came under fire last week then it transpired that Giant Cop from Other Ocean, which was first announced for the HTC Vive, would now be releasing first on the Rift. Following this, the developer of the upcoming Serious Sam VR revealed Oculus had also offered a timed exclusivity deal for a “shitton of money”, which it had declined. To make matters worse for Oculus, Valve co-founder Gabe Newell has been speaking out against exclusives too.

Fans on Reddit were outraged at the news, though Luckey makes a valid point in that PlayStation VR will have its own exclusive content, such as Batman Arkham VR and Star Wars Battlefront: X-Wing Mission. Internal studios are also working on titles such as Farpoint. That makes it two against one when it comes to exclusive VR content; will Valve’s approach manage to shine through?

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