We sat down with the CEO of Playful this week, Paul Bettner, and discussed a ton of fascinating subjects covering everything from the birth of the first Oculus Rift exclusive title Lucky’s Tale to the reason his company hasn’t adopted room-scale VR in a product yet.
I’ll get to those answers as soon as I have time to transcribe my recording a bit more during the busy E3 week, but I wanted to single out one particular answer before then.
Right at the front entrance to the South Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center — front and center in the Xbox booth from Microsoft — Super Lucky’s Tale is one of the first games greeting the many gamers swarming the event. It is a fully developed sequel to Lucky’s Tale that is already building buzz. They even have custom Xbox One controllers for the game in Lucky’s orange and blue colors. The adorable main character can be seen waving to people from the televisions, inviting them to join him on his journey.
The family-friendly game fills a hole in Microsoft’s portfolio for the Xbox, putting a cute platformer among the gritty shooters and horror games that seem to be targeted toward hardcore audiences. This week though Microsoft has said almost nothing about VR for the upcoming Xbox One X, and with this sequel growing out of a groundbreaking VR effort from Playful, I asked Bettner a couple questions about the game’s readiness for VR.
“We’re here to show off the game for the first time on the flat screen and to show people what the Lucky franchise is like when you’re playing it on a TV. And we’re really glad about the fact that invites a huge audience to experience Lucky for the first time,” Bettner said.
That’s a carefully worded answer from Bettner, so I followed up with an additional question asking whether there is anything in the design of the game that will keep it from being able to adapt very easily to VR.
“Absolutely not. In fact I’ll go as far as to say we are continuing to design the game in a VR-friendly way,” Bettner said.
That’s as far as I pushed, but the answer was enough to renew my hope that Microsoft isn’t ignoring the potential of VR to drive sales of its Xbox One X system sometime after 2017, and that we might get to see Super Lucky’s Tale in VR headsets someday.
We’ll have to wait and see of course, but it strikes me that Microsoft has a lot more to its strategy for dominance of immersive computing that we have yet to see. I hope Super Lucky’s Tale plays a part in that strategy going forward.