Half-Life: Alyx is just a month away, and Ubisoft is ready to compete with a AAA title of its own based on an existing IP.
The most anticipated virtual reality title is Half-Life: Alyx, no doubt. After all, this game is not only the first “full-length” experience from the legendary game makers in years but also a new title in arguably the most popular game franchise of all time.
However, despite Half-Life: Alyx being what many may consider the new benchmark for VR gaming, it’s important to note that this title doesn’t exist in a vacuum.
Ever since Valve’s latest game has been announced, more eyes have been on virtual reality than ever before. That’s a fantastic sign for adoption, but even more important is the fact that Ubisoft is hiring for their own AAA VR title.
Ubisoft is one of the largest game publishers on the market. The company is responsible for funding franchises such as Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, and Watch Dogs. Their titles are consistently some of the best selling and best-reviewed games every year. And now that attention will be placed on VR.
What’s especially interesting about Ubisoft’s interest in VR is that most of its games are of the open-world genre. Half-Life: Alyx might be a fantastic, slightly linear FPS title based on the footage, but Ubisoft’s approach may very well be of that same open-world sort.
Also worth noting is one specific part of the job listing:
“You will work on cutting-edge VR technology, on one of Ubisoft’s greatest IP’s which will be developed across multiple studios. Join us today to shape the future of VR!”
Working on one of their greatest IP’s could mean many things. Of course, it most likely applies to Assassin’s Creed – the platform’s most popular IP by far – but there’s hope that it could be the long-awaited return of Splinter Cell as well.
That may sound like a bit of a pipe dream, but so did a Half-Life VR game and that’s only a month away from now. Plus, what a way to generate hype like a next-generation, virtual reality take on a massive IP.
The linked job posting is for a narrative designer, as well. Ubisoft is taking a traditional game development approach to this title, meaning that they believe it is truly time to invest in the future of VR.
We’re entering a period where it isn’t just Valve trying to push some niche technology as they did with the Steam Controller or Steam OS. Ubisoft’s interest in the matter brings a sense of validity to it, especially if they’re entrusting one of their “greatest IP’s” to the technology.
We can only imagine what other big publishers will follow suit. We know that Microsoft is out of the picture for now, but Sony could very well announce a sequel to its PlayStation VR attachment for the PlayStation 5 along with first-party support. Capcom has already traveled there as well with the Resident Evil 7 VR mode, but who else will take the plunge?
Regardless, I’ve already said that VR is more exciting than just Half-Life: Alyx, and Ubisoft can see that as well.