VRMMORPG: EverQuest Next May Feature Oculus Rift Support
Virtual reality has been a Holy Grail in cutting-edge gaming for years. Game developers have experimented with a miscellany of environments, but one has yet to really take the market by storm.
That may be changing over the next few years. Since the Oculus Rift development kit came out, game developers have been playing with it—and liking it. But all this was happening in relative obscurity until Sony Online Entertainment, the group responsible for EverQuest, began making noise about including support for it in their upcoming title, EverQuest Next.
Last August, the company released a behind-the-scenes teaser trailer on EverQuest Next, and they dropped a few not-so-subtle hints that Oculus Rift might play a big role in expanding the game’s functionality to include VR. They didn’t say anything but preferred in true gamer style to communicate the message nonetheless, with a lingering shot of one of the game’s developers wearing an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.
And while game developers are not exactly known for avoiding japes, a Reddit Ask Me Anything appearing yesterday that featured Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley gave us some pretty surefire confirmation that the game will have some sort of support for the next-gen VR system—“probably for no other reason than it’s really damn cool, and programmers love that stuff,” he said.
But Oculus Rift isn’t the only next-gen VR system drawing Sony’s wanting eye: responding to a Redditor asking about support for other systems, Smedley replied that the company was examining at least two competing systems—one of them is Sony’s.
“I’m thinking this is real, and we may have our Snowcrash after all,” he said.
Oculus Rift has been gaining traction in MMO environments for some time, and there are several that support it. Right now, it’s primarily limited to sci-fi and space-war simulators, games like Vendetta Online; but other games have gotten into the action, too. Second Life has updated its system to support immersive VR through Oculus Rift as well. EverQuest Next would be the first fantasy MMORPG to offer VR support, however.
Going even further, EverQuest Next isn’t even the only RPG that may be offering support in upcoming years. Smedley told Reddit that Sony Online is currently developing another game, as yet unannounced (except on Reddit), a new MMO that will feature support for the game and cater to Star Wars Galaxies fans.