Virtual reality is a major focus at the E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles for multiple big names in the industry.
While play on consoles or Windows-powered personal computers continued to dominate the annual industry gathering, virtual reality flourished as game makers invested in the future. The number of E3 exhibitors involved with virtual or augmented realities more than doubled to 126 from 53 last year.
Virtual reality versions of blockbuster video games Fallout, Doom, and Skyrim were part of a lineup unveiled by Bethesda Softworks.
“Virtual reality is something we have been at the forefront of for a while now,” said Bethesda vice president of marketing Pete Hines.
A VR version of Fallout will put players into a world destroyed by nuclear war, while they will face dragons in a full-length, open-world version of Skyrim, according to Bethesda.
Along with games, Sony is working on a VR “experience” spinning off the popular television series Breaking Bad in a partnership with producer Vince Gilligan.
Skybound Entertainment meanwhile announced it is collaborating on virtual reality games spinning off The Walking Dead, the post-apocalyptic television series.
“Our goal is to honour the visceral world that (Robert) Kirkman has created while giving the fans something to really sink their teeth into with robust games,” Skydance media chief executive David Ellison and operating officer Jesse Sisgold said in a statement.
Sony, HTC and Facebook-owned Oculus are the top players in virtual reality head gear, each striving to stake out territory in the budding market.
And even though the VR audience is small compared to the hundreds of millions of people with consoles or personal computers, game makers are prone to embracing new technologies and understand that compelling content can inspire consumers to follow suit.
“If you don’t start pushing the envelope, people won’t think about upgrading hardware,” YouTube’s Wyatt said of the drive toward richer graphics and immersive worlds in gaming.