Stick to the shadows. Keep quiet. Don’t let anyone see you and, above all, complete the mission. Imagine seeing through the eyes of Sam Fisher in a way you’ve never experienced before; first-person, with full freedom of movement and with the realism that only VR can bring. There are stealth games, and then there’s Splinter Cell. It’s in a category all its own and it’s allegedly coming to an Oculus VR headset near you, if The Information’s insiders at Oculus are to be believed.
Sneaking around in the shadows as a top-secret agent in VR is a dream come true for so many gamers like myself who have wanted to have an experience exactly like that since the debut of roomscale VR a few years back. While we’ve a fair amount of stealth games since then, but none that quite delivered an experience that goes with the name Splinter Cell.
That’s not all though. If sources are to be believed, Oculus has partnered with Ubisoft on another massive name in gaming as well: Assassin’s Creed. The historical fiction action stealth game has sold tens of millions of copies in its decade-plus existence and goes to show that Facebook is becoming increasingly confident in its hardware to realistically deliver freedom of movement.
It goes to show how far Oculus has come in the 3 years since the launch of the original Rift; a headset that was nothing more than a window into the virtual world it originally shipped with a simple Xbox controller and no way to move about virtual space with your body. Since all these games are heavily-focused on precision of movement, there’s a clear goal here to highlight that progression and how freeing movement in VR can be.
Jason Rubin, former head of content at Oculus and current Vice President of Special Gaming Initiatives is said to be spearheading the effort. Ubisoft declined to comment on whether or not these games are actually in development, but The Information has been accurate in the past with these sorts of leaks.
Ubisoft isn’t the only big-name publisher that’s making new partnerships with Oculus and Facebook either. Electronic Arts own Respawn Entertainment, the group behind Titanfall and Apex Legends, is also developing a VR game that’s funded by Facebook’s Oculus studios. That joins a long line of titles that the company has funded in the past from other well-known publishers and developers.
Oculus is Facebook’s Xbox or Playstation. It’s a brand that is quickly turning into a money-making division within the company and one that’s poised to be around for decades to come. When Facebook purchased Oculus for $2 billion in 2014, it ran under the guise of breaking VR into the mainstream in a way that hadn’t been done before.
If the response on the Oculus Quest is anything to say about that, Facebook is fast approaching its goal of being the lead player in VR and making it a truly mainstream medium that we all love and enjoy regularly.
Facebook has yet to release sales numbers for the Oculus Quest but, judging by the fact that it’s sold out nature makes it extremely to go out and buy one at any time, bodes well for folks that are looking to get into VR in a less-expensive, hassle-free way.
Facebook is clearly getting serious about its gaming aspirations for the future, a landscape that looks to be changing quite a bit with new ways to explore games, like VR. Google Stadia is another platform looking to shake things up this year, and these all spell one thing; there’s plenty of competition in the market, and that means lots of choice for gamers.