Epic Video games, the creators of Unreal Engine, stated it could think about constructing a launch title for Sony’s “subsequent VR platform” throughout negotiations about Fortnite cross-play on PlayStation in 2018. With the corporate’s subsequent VR headset not anticipated to launch till at the very least 2022, it’s unclear if the Sony took up the supply.
Again in 2018, as Fortnite was exploding throughout the gaming sphere, Epic Video games was attempting to stress Sony to reverse its longstanding coverage of not permitting cross-play multiplayer between PlayStation and different consoles. The Verge studies on just lately revealed confidential emails wherein Epic floated a handful of concepts to sweeten the deal, together with the potential of the corporate constructing a launch title for Sony subsequent VR headset.
Epic was an early mover within the VR house, having labored intently with Oculus on a number of VR prototypes and including help for VR headsets to Unreal Engine. The corporate’s most up-to-date and most lauded title is Robo Recall (2017), an Oculus unique that has lengthy stood among the many finest rated titles on the Oculus Rift. And although Epic hasn’t made any VR video games since then, plainly in 2018 it was nonetheless prepared and keen.
Epic’s vice chairman of enterprise growth, Joe Kreiner, despatched an inventory of proposals to attempt to transfer Sony towards opening the door for Fortnite on PlayStation to supply cross-play with different consoles. Among the many promise of an announcement at E3 that may “make Sony seem like heroes” throughout a star Fortnite match, Epic advised sweetening the deal one other means.
“Epic’s keen to discover extra objects—possibly we decide to a recreation on the launch of your subsequent VR platform?” Kreiner advised, alongside different concepts like a particular deal for PS Plus members, or extending Sony’s company-wide license for Unreal Engine four (which was as a result of expire the following 12 months).
Gio Corsi, Sony’s senior director of developer relations, responded saying that he favored the concepts, however the firm wasn’t satisfied that cross-play was a prudent enterprise technique.
“I respect the factors you’ve listed within the mail, there are a whole lot of nice concepts in right here for continued partnership nonetheless [cross-play] shouldn’t be a slam dunk irrespective of the scale of [Fortnite],” Crosi wrote. “As , many firms are exploring this concept and never a single one can clarify how [cross-play] improves the PlayStation enterprise.”
Later that 12 months, after stress from Epic and followers, Sony relented and allowed Fortnite cross-play on PlayStation, simply as Microsoft and Nintendo had already executed. Nonetheless, we don’t know precisely how the settlement panned out, together with whether or not a VR recreation from Epic was a part of the deal.
With out extra info, it’s robust to guess which means issues went. By 2018 PSVR was nonetheless doing pretty effectively, and it wasn’t till 2021 that Sony introduced a next-gen PlayStation VR headset within the works. Nonetheless, Kreiner’s suggestion of a VR launch title suggests Epic had some inkling new PSVR headset was someplace on Sony’s roadmap, even again in 2018. A brand new VR recreation from Epic would probably want one to 3 years of lead time for growth; relying upon the timeline, it’s potential that such a recreation is definitely within the works.
However, Sony could not have been sure in 2018 that there even could be a “subsequent” VR headset. Until their VR roadmap was already set in stone at that time, they might not have wished the Fortnite cross-play deal to hinge on a headset that the corporate had but to decide to constructing.
Solely time will inform if something VR-related got here from the cross-play negotiation, however since then Sony and Epic have solely gotten nearer—so much nearer. In 2020 Sony invested $250 million in Epic Video games, and shortly adopted on with an extra $200 million final month.
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