At last month’s Reboot Develop conference in Croatia, Oculus encouraged VR developers in attendance to release their content on every platform, and not as exclusives to one headset.
Matt Conte, Head of Development Engineering at the VR specialist, said as much during his talk, as reported by GamesIndustry.biz. Talking about how to reach the broadest audience, he explained that the VR audience was still small. “There’s not as many headsets out there as we thought there might be a couple of years ago,” Conte noted. “It’s growing, and it’s actually growing at a pretty decent pace, but every decision that you make you should be thinking about: How does this get my title into the most users’ hands as possible?
In the past, Oculus has signed contracts with developers both big and small to bring games to its platforms exclusively, but do Conte’s comments suggest the company’s stance on that matter has changed?
“We don’t want exclusivity,” he continued. “We want VR to thrive. But VR is a niche, and you don’t want to be a niche within a niche. Ship everywhere: Oculus, PlayStation VR, Steam, mobile, if you can. Do whatever you can to get as many eyes on it as possible.”
In the past, Oculus received backlash for signing exclusive agreements with games like Giant Cop. The number of exclusive titles the studio is pushing out is diminishing, though; last year there was almost one high-profile Rift-exclusive game released every month, but so far this year we’ve seen only a handful of Oculus Studios-published experiences. Oculus’ Head of Content, Jason Rubin, last year suggested that parent company Facebook might not be in the content creation business forever.
That’s not to say they’re not still coming; exclusive games like Marvel Powers United VR and an untitled project from Titanfall developer Respawn are some of the biggest VR games on the horizon right now, and the company just announced Twisted Pixel’s Defector for a Rift-only release. Add to that the handful of exclusive titles that just launched on the newly-released Oculus Go and it’s clear Oculus is still doing a lot of work with exclusives. But Conte’s talk likely addressed smaller, independent developers as opposed to the larger teams Oculus is currently working with. Does that mean we’ll see less projects of that scale?
Still E3 is coming up, so we might yet have more to hear from Oculus on the exclusive front.