Respawn Entertainment, the studio behind Titanfall and EA’s new Star Wars Battlefront titles, has announced that it is partnering up with Oculus to make a new combat-focused game in VR. The company’s official announcement video was not specific about what it was announcing, instead focusing on the firm’s commitment to realistic, visceral combat experiences, and the potential for VR to bring those to life. The video shows clips from the studio’s previous games and talks about things like how Titanfall changes a player’s thinking by adding a third direction for threats to come from, and how something like that could translate into VR. Respawn says that this new title is not related to either Titanfall or Star Wars, and while a date was not announced, the end of the video showed 2019, which means we can probably expect to have it in hand, or at least hear more about it by then.
Respawn Entertainment, just as various employees said during the video that can be seen below, specializes in breathing life into virtual combat experiences through innovation and fine-tuning to get the visceral action just right. The studio’s signature style of virtual warfare could gel very well with VR, so long as it’s crafted from the ground up with the medium in mind. To that end, the somewhat small studio is opening a number of new positions for the project, among many others. A glance at the firm’s Careers page will reveal listings for a “Super Secret Project” which currently consist of jobs from just about every discipline in the game world, from producers to artists and animators. Writing roles are notably missing, meaning that the game is likely already in or past that stage of development.
Respawn’s announcement talks about something that some game and VR experience studios actually don’t talk much about – the change of perspective involved in VR. When you’re developing a game or playing it in a normal space, the company says, a change into VR actually brings set pieces to life. Something that you’ve seen over and over from every angle on a monitor is suddenly a rather realistic part of the world that you’re walking around in, and the sense of scale flips the script; you’re no longer in control of this object. It is now very real, and quite possibly towering over you. The excitement surrounding the development of the project is palpable in the video from Respawn, though it remains to be seen how soon will the company be ready to share more details on its mysterious project.