Thanks to companies like Oculus VR, Samsung and Sony, virtual reality has risen from the depths of 1990s mediocrity and sci-fi fantasies to become the most exciting new prospect for video games. And the Oculus Rift, Gear VR and Project Morpheus are just the beginning.
At this year’s E3 convention, the biggest gaming event of the year, VR stole the show. Microsoft announced a partnership that will see the Oculus Rift paired with Xbox, and tons of developers emerged from the virtual woodwork to say they’re making game for virtual reality. Tons of developers—but not the following seven, and these are the ones we’d love to see take a crack at it.
Turn 10 Studios
Known for: ‘Forza Motorsport’
Driving games are one of the best ways to showcase why people need to experience virtual reality. For the past several years, Microsoft’s Turn 10 Studios has arguably been the most consistent developer in the racing game genre, with its Forza Motorsport series completely dominating the competition. Turn 10 knows how to make racing simulators fun to play without sacrificing the challenge.
If the studio made a VR racing game players would feel like they’re actually driving a million dollar sports car, and experience all of the enjoyment that comes with that, while also overcoming obstacles on their way to the finish line. And with Microsoft dabbling in augmented reality with HoloLens—not to mention the company’s partnership with Oculus—this seems pretty likely, even if we’ll have to wait a while still.
Known for: ‘Lollipop Chainsaw,’ ’Shadows of the Damned,’ ‘No More Heroes,’ ‘Killer7’
Goichi Suda or Suda51, as he’s popularly known as, is perhaps the zaniest video game auteur out there. The CEO of studio Grasshopper Manufacture, he and his team have delivered a smorgasbord of eccentric titles over the years, including the excellent Killer7, No More Heroes, and Lollipop Chainsaw. Perhaps the biggest reason why he should make a VR game is his exquisite art direction.
Whether or not the game is any good, Suda always manages to wow people with his aesthetic choices, and injects his particular personal style into every project. A virtual reality Suda51 experience would definitely bring with it a trip that you wouldn’t want to escape from or soon forget, lightsabers and chainsaw-wielding cheerleaders notwithstanding.
The Chinese Room
Known for: ‘Dear Esther,’ ‘Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs,’ ‘Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture’
A first-person shooter is an easy choice for VR, and understandably so. Playing Call of Duty or Battlefield in VR would probably be awesome. But it’s the quieter first-person exploration games that I think will make the most refreshing use of this new technology. They’ve been all the rage these past two years because of games like Gone Home, in which you explore an abandoned house and uncover its many hidden secrets. Indie studio The Chinese Room has already delivered two of these titles, Dear Esther and Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, and both were atmospheric and fantastic.
The Chinese Room could pull off a captivating original VR idea with a needed change of pace from the inevitable deluge of bombastic first-person shooters that’ll inevitably dominate VR from the get-go.
Known for: ‘Dead Space,’ ‘Battlefield Hardline’
Star Wars, Star Wars, Star Wars. Need I say more? Though we barely know anything about Visceral’s upcoming Star Wars game, we do know that former Naughty Dog employee Amy Hennig is heading direction on the game, and is penning its script. Her work on the Uncharted series will likely translate well, especially when combined with Visceral’s track record on Dead Space and Battlefield: Hardline.
The world will need to experience Star Wars in virtual reality in some way. It’s as simple as that. But taking a look at all of EA’s studios that are, and potentially could be making a Star Wars game, Visceral is just the best choice in my eyes.
Known for: ‘Grand Theft Auto V,’ ‘Red Dead Redemption’ Perhaps the most obvious choice on here, Rockstar North, the subsidiary of Rockstar Games that made *Grand Theft Auto V, has released the fastest-selling entertainment product of all time. A simple VR port of GTA V would be huge news all by itself, and it’d work especially well with the game’s newly added first-person mode. But imagine if the developer announced an exclusive VR title built from the ground-up?
An open-world game set in a modern city will be one heck of an experience on either Oculus Rift or Project Morpheus, but it’ll also inevitably be a point of controversy if Rockstar’s reputation is anything to go by. Now, may I steal that helicopter and soak in that California sunshine please?
Tango Gameworks/Shinji Mikami
Known for: ‘The Evil Within’/’Resident Evil’ (respectively)
Virtual reality would be a great way to experience pure, unfiltered horror. Shinji Mikami, the head of Tango Gameworks (and the man who created Resident Evil before forming his own studio) is the only director capable enough of reinventing the genre once again with VR. He’s influenced the genre twice before, introducing Resident Evil to the world, and then completely changing it in the series’ fourth installment, Resident Evil 4, one of the most influential games of all time.
The Evil Within was tangible proof that he still has it in him, and that his new studio is capable of pulling off a great horror game. It was a herculean effort, and if a potential VR game is anything like The Evil Within, then people will be in for quite a sadistic ride.
Known for: ‘LittleBigPlanet,’ ‘Tearaway’
Media Molecule is number one on this list for one simple reason: the studio knows how to utilize new hardware to its fullest potential. It has done it with LittleBigPlanet and LittleBigPlanet 2, cracking open PlayStation 3’s potential as a capable system when it comes to online gameplay, and creating a gargantuan and lively online community. And its newly announced PlayStation 4 title Dreams, in which players create whole worlds and levels by simply drawing anything they want, takes full advantage of the latest Sony console’s strengths.
To this day Media Molecule is still the only one to make full use of the PS Vita’s many unique functions with Tearaway. It’s the one studio in Sony’s impressive first-party ecosystem that could confidently deliver that killer app that Project Morpheus will so desperately need when it (hopefully) launches next year.
Alex Gilyadov is a freelance writer with an eclectic taste in film, music, and games. He believes Breaking Bad is the greatest show mankind has concocted, and that The Sopranos is actually a bit overrated.
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