“You can’t build a business on that”, he says.
VR has probably never been more appealing to the mass market than it is currently, thanks to cheaper mass market VR hardware finally being available, and the release of some VR killer apps such as Astro Bot for the PlayStation VR. And yet, amidst this new surge of enthusiasm for the VR market comes the gloomy pronouncement regarding its current prospects by a company that has previously jumped headfirst into supporting VR game development.
The CEO of CCP Games, Hilmar Veigar Pétursson, talked about the state of the VR market in an interview with Destructoid. CCP Games, you will remember, were gearing up to release EVE Valkyrie on the PlayStation VR, a project that was then ultimately cancelled following low sales, accompanied by the shuttering of two studios, and the cancellation of all further VR games from the company.
“We expected VR to be two to three times as big as it was, period. You can’t build a business on that,” he said, speaking of where the market currently stands.
He also says that sales of VR hardware, such as the 3 million units sold by PlayStation VR, might not necessarily be indicative of the VR market as a whole—since a lot of people buy a headset for the novelty, and then proceed to never actually use it afterwards.
“The important thing is we need to see the metrics for active users of VR. A lot of people bought headsets just to try it out. How many of those people are active? We found that in terms of our data, a lot of users weren’t.”
That said, he cited the upcoming Oculus Quest, a low cost standalone VR headset from Oculus, as something that could maybe turn things around for the market, and make the company reassess its stance on VR. For now, however, it looks like he’s not too hot on the segment, and given the losses his company suffered, who can blame him?