Let’s be straight: the only good video game, which utilizes VR technologies is Edge of Nowhere and it’s one of the best games in the world of Lovecraft’s mythos. Others simply can’t compete with traditional 2D or 3D video games, which don’t require a headset equipment. Modern video games have become very demanding for the players: they ask you to remember passwords, hidden passages, pieces of puzzles, maps, crossroads and destinations of roads, they ask you to carefully chose weapons, use specifics ammo against specific enemies… it’s all complicated, but this the modern state of traditional video games.
VR games in opposite are very simple: one or two weapons, infinite amount of health, two or three types of enemies. They simply lack content. Developers think that this is possible to release short meaningless games about shooting, hunting, sneaking and this will be enough for an average gamer. No way it’ll be.
The biggest truth about VR games is that they don’t offer variance: you do the same things in a certain order. Majority of VR titles can be divided into four categories: exploration games, shooting range games, melee combat games and simulation games. All of them have the same approach to storytelling, the same gameplay tricks and techniques, the same first person view, which may cause nausea. The only video game that I’m aware of, that uses the third person view is Edge of Nowhere – and it has everything the opposite to an average VR game. The storyline is long and complicated, gameplay is diverse, the graphics are amazing, so the sounds are. It’s the only game that it’s actually playable and you know why, because it was created with the same approach as ordinary non-VR games are. Compare it to other VR titles and you’ll see the difference. Unfortunately, Insomniac games was the only studio, which created a decent VR game, using this paradigm.
Why developers don’t want to create long and varied video games with virtual reality technologies is also understandable: they simply don’t believe in high sales. They could create something long and unique, a real breakthrough in storytelling or something that has not been done before but for as long as it’s unprofitable, they won’t do this.
This is a vicious circle: buyers don’t want to buy VR headsets because there are no decent games for them, developers don’t want to create anything because there is no customers for them. This is a way Microsoft Kinetic died, GameCube stopped its existence, Sega Saturn ceased to be sold. This is not the first attempt to offer something new, in the past virtual reality technologies were implemented on the market too but they never were popular. They are not popular now.
To sum up things, the simplicity of VR games and absence of good titles are the factors influencing sales of VR headsets in a negative way. If manufacturers of headsets want to change things, they need to create different games and develop something new standing with the same standards as ordinary games have at the moment.