Virtual Reality has for the most part been looked at for its single player applications. However, many developers have looked at the potential multiplayer opportunities that the new format offers. Unfortunately, this has led to some significant issues, mainly getting everyone to use the same headset. This is not a new problem, as we’ve had this debate since the rise of console multiplayer. Ubisoft has found a way around this issue however with their VR multiplayer games.
Ubisoft’s cross-play VR compatibility
Announced in their blog, senior communications manager Giancarlo Varanini made the announcement about cross-platform play. Writing specifically about Eagle flight, their post-apocalyptic Eagle simulator, Varanini wrote, “Starting tomorrow, November 29, Eagle Flight will support cross-platform play, allowing players on PSVR, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive to team up or play against each other. And Eagle Flight is just the start. Werewolves Within and Star Trek: Bridge Crew – both multiplayer VR experiences – will also support cross-platform play on their respective launch days.”
This announcement is huge for many reasons. Aside from letting both Oculus and HTC users play together, console players can get in on the fun as well. Of course, there has been no mention of any Xbox support. However, it wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine the cross-play coming to Xbox when the time comes.
The developers behind Eagle Flight, Red Storm, seem to have been part of the driving force behind this decision. “Making our VR titles cross-platform has been a goal of ours from the start, and we’re happy to announce that Eagle Flight, Werewolves Within, and Star Trek: Bridge Crew will be playable cross-platform on PSVR, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive,” said David Votypka, senior creative director at Red Storm. “Our games feature strong multiplayer experiences, so letting friends play together regardless of which headset they own will enhance the social nature of our games and let them be played the way we envisioned.”
Eagle Flight is currently out for both Oculus Rift and the PSVR, while the HTC version is coming 20 December. Ubisoft’s other two VR games, Werewolves Within and Star Trek Bridge Crew, are slated for release December 6 and March 14 respectively. Now, we have to see if other publishers will follow suit. Considering the low sales of both the HTC and Oculus this year, it would be a smart move. However, that is hoping that the gaming industries infatuation with exclusive titles comes to an end.