With four virtual reality games due out before the end of the year, Ubisoft is arguably leading the way when it comes to major publisher support for the tech. And the company even expects this approach to be profitable… at some point.
That’s what Ubisoft’s Head of EMEA, Alain Corre recently told GamesIndustry.biz. Speaking of two of the company’s headlining VR titles, Eagle Flight and Star Trek: Bridge Crew, he said that they would likely become profitable “during the life of the game”. In other words, Ubisoft isn’t expecting to make its money back on these products right away, but would hope to get back in the black with them later down the line. It’s an interesting stance for a publisher of this scale to take, and one that no doubt many VR fans will be thankful for.
Alongside Eagle Flight and Star Trek, the publisher will also be launching a social VR game named Werewolves Within and a new version of Trackmania Turbo this year. Back at E3 2016 we also learned that the company is working on a VR edition of its Just Dance franchise, though it doesn’t sound like this is expected to release this year. Corre also confirmed that the developer had other plans for the technology beyond that, though no new games would be announced at this time.
These games aren’t big budget blockbusters like Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed or Watch Dog franchises, which is an important part of how the company is even able to make them in the first place. It also helps that they’ll all be appearing on the major headsets: PlayStation VR, HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, giving them the best shot at selling as many units as possible.
Ubisoft isn’t the only publisher working in VR, though. Capcom will be bringing its highly-anticipated horror sequel, Resident Evil 7, to PlayStation VR on January 24th 2017, while EA is preparing a Star Wars Battlefront X-Wing Mission for the headset this year. Bethesda, meanwhile is porting Fallout 4 to the HTC Vive. Overall these larger publishers are slowly but surely testing the waters of the VR industry, and we’re bound to see wider adoption over time.