Oculus Claims its Exclusivity Deals Are "Good For The Industry"

Oculus Claims its Exclusivity Deals Are "Good For The Industry"

oculus rift

Head of Content Jason Rubin says that a lot of Oculus "exlusives" are only really "timed exclusives".

There's been a lot of mudslinging between the two leading VR platforms, Oculus and Vive, as of late, with Oculus-exclusive games being the focus. Vive and Valve's opinion is that exclusives are quite damaging to the community, while Oculus Head of Content Jason Rubin claims the exact opposite. In an interview with Gamesindustry.biz, he talked a little about what the company was doing for up-and-coming VR developers.

"The idea that we're not doing good for the industry I find completely failing," stressed Bulin. "Smaller games, indie games that come to us half done - generally, we say to them, here's a much smaller amount of money just to get you to where you wanted to be, and in exchange, give us a short time in the store exclusive."

"There are other cases where we say, 'We think you could do a little better job,' or, 'You're not quite at the finish line,' here's cash. Don't do anything [exclusive with us]. In fact, as of today, there are games in the Steam store that we have put money into that are not in our store."

Rubin believes that Oculus is doing what no other company is able to for the VR space, and with the enormous funding of Facebook backing it, these "exclusivity deals", where VR devs are given a big chunk of money in exchange for a short "timed exclusive," are ultimately going to benefit the consumer.

He also noted that even "first-party" Oculus exclusives - games that have been completely funded and developed by Oculus - have the potential to make it to other VR platforms in the future.

What do you think about VR exclusivity? Is Oculus really doing this "for the good of the industry," or is it just fracturing its already small and skeptical install base? Personally, I think its way too early to buy into this VR thing, and will wait until the next generation (when it becomes a bit more affordable...) before dipping my toes in.

Source: Gamesindustry.biz

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IF what Bulin is saying is how things are actually going down, and the games are only timed exclusives in return for funding, I think that it is good for the industry, because more games and choices is always better.

That said, I can't help but feel a bit cynical, because at the end of the day, it's an industry, so the bottom line is always something that executives keep in mind. Also, it sounds like it could be a PR spin on Oculus devs basically snatching up toys and saying "You can play with them when I'm done".

Man I'd almost forgotten the oculus was even still a thing. Been nothing but HTC Vive dominating the marketing.

Considering how much people seem to hate exclusives, timed or otherwise, the long term penalties will outweigh the short term gains.

Dam i already forgot those "VR" goggle things were out, timed exclusives suck ass i refuse to have to wait to play a game because it is arbitrarily locked behind a date when it is playable on the system i play.

Nonsense, they are just trying to spin another BS move on their part. For a crowd-funded project, Oculus has done a complete 180 and is one of the least consumer friendly tech companies i know.

This guys attempt to cloak Oculus exclusives as a 'good thing' is so weak, it not only discourages me from VR as a whole, but especially from considering Oculus as a 'platform'...

... hell, its crazy that there is such a thing as VR 'platforms' on the PC at all.
Yeah bright idea, take a expensive and pretty limited gimmick, that would only have a small enthusiast group market, and split it more with exclusives and 'platforms'.
This ain't some cheap gimmick that costs a few quid you can easily afford to take a risk on, the set up can easily buy a entire entry level PC by itself and that's assuming you already have the rig to run VR.

Limited market, with a unknown and expensive gimmick, plus limited VR developers and the bloody cash bags with ties want exclusives and limits?
The market will only support one entry, and currently it looks like Vive is VHS to the Oculus Beta... except its Vive that is the expensive but superior tech.

Okay. He can go ahead and enjoy the supposed benefits of screwing customers while I don't buy his product. Everyone wins!

This is complete and utter BS.

VR headsets should be considered as peripherals such as a mouse or keyboard, not "platforms". The consumer should be able to choose the one they want plug it in and play whatever the damn they want. This is just dividing the already small market VR has.

List:
This is complete and utter BS.

VR headsets should be considered as peripherals such as a mouse or keyboard, not "platforms". The consumer should be able to choose the one they want plug it in and play whatever the damn they want. This is just dividing the already small market VR has.

What I don't understand is why they couldn't just have VR headsets function as TVs you could wear on your head for anything and everything that doesn't support VR, but then switch over to using it's full functionality when something that does support VR. Have it just put a connector you could hook up your cable and consoles and computer up to and wirelessly beam the signal to your headset.

ron1n:
Man I'd almost forgotten the oculus was even still a thing. Been nothing but HTC Vive dominating the marketing.

Yupe. The Vive seems to be what high-end early adopters are getting.

Mass market ... still in the air due to the prices of the hardware at the moment. Sony is probably in the best position having the lowest cost headset (but might not be low enough) and hassle free set up on console.

My mom claimed that brocoli was good for me as well and i didn't belive her either. Only difference to this story here is: She was right. And they aren't.

What's that part about paying people with what oculus believes to be crap games to not be on their store?

"'You're not quite at the finish line,' here's cash. Don't do anything [exclusive with us]. In fact, as of today, there are games in the Steam store that we have put money into that are not in our store."

Yeah that isn't good for any marketplace. You take the good and the bad, sure you're going to showcase the good but people are going to want to play with the bad as well.

immortalfrieza:

List:
This is complete and utter BS.

VR headsets should be considered as peripherals such as a mouse or keyboard, not "platforms". The consumer should be able to choose the one they want plug it in and play whatever the damn they want. This is just dividing the already small market VR has.

What I don't understand is why they couldn't just have VR headsets function as TVs you could wear on your head for anything and everything that doesn't support VR, but then switch over to using it's full functionality when something that does support VR. Have it just put a connector you could hook up your cable and consoles and computer up to and wirelessly beam the signal to your headset.

They do. It's called the Vive. You can use it as another monitor, or use it as VR. Except without the wireless part, because broadcasting HDMI VR quality over wireless isn't quite that good.

008Zulu:
Considering how much people seem to hate exclusives, timed or otherwise, the long term penalties will outweigh the short term gains.

Gotta agree here. Microsoft went hard with buying exclusives for the Xbox for 3 generations at that hasn't worked in the slightest.

Valve...are you ready?

Oculus...are you ready?

...

Gladiators...Are. You. Ready??

Three...Two...One...GOOOOO!!

Wait a minute...Oculus was crowd funded? While funded by Facebook also?? Disqualified! Go on...get out. Leave with your head down and tail between your legs.

NickBrahz:
Dam i already forgot those "VR" goggle things were out, timed exclusives suck ass i refuse to have to wait to play a game because it is arbitrarily locked behind a date when it is playable on the system i play.

Then you must hate every game with a release date that isn't out yet. I mean really, is no playing a game as soon as it out such a bad thing? No wonder the gaming industry gets away with bullshit practices. Gamers in general are spoiled brats.

I don't personally have an issue with timed exclusive, I mean, I don't like them but a timed exclusive only means it may be longer before it hits other platforms but it is coming. It's annoying, but a timed wait is not a true exclusive. I do think this guy is full of shit. I don't think they have games they funded not on their store, that is an outright lie. It's also just a dangling carrot to say some Oculus produced game "may" appear on other stores in the future. I think that will never happen the way XBox One games never really appear on the PC without a curated and designed environment to make sure the experience is identically bad on a far superior platform.

You can argue all day long you think it's good for the industry. You know what's bad for the industry? Good developers that don't make good sales because they are limited to a single platform by a contract, then they disappear or get merged with other companies. That is bad for the industry no matter how you spin it. If you are going to help pay for a game and you want a timed exclusive or one of the logos popping up at the beginning is a big shiny Occulus logo, that is awesome. But imagine a game that came out that only ran on an nVidia card or an AMD card, would that be good for games or the videocard industry? No, it would be a bad move for the whole market and for the developer. What if you bought a game that was only made to work on a Samsung monitor, is that good for the market? No, it's a terrible move again.

You might have some grounds if a game chiefly utilized technology that was only found in one of the systems. Like SNES showed a lot more colors than their Sega Genesis counterpart in the 16 bit era. You may have wanted to develop a game that could show a greater color palette, so you did it on SNES. Or something that used Mode 7 graphic effects. But if you wanted to develop a game that required faster processing, you went to Sega Genesis because it had a processor that ran at twice the frequency almost (IIRC). But we know for a fact that these things utilize the same technology to a greater or lesser extent. We know because the games can be made to run on both devices.

So no, that is bullshit. Exclusives are not better for the industry except in some very exceptional cases. In this case the technology is nearly identical and you hurt developers by not allowing them to sell on both platforms. Hurting good developers is bad for the industry every single time.

I understand where Oculus is coming from. They tried to fill a hole in the market when there weren't any VR headsets yet. Now that position completely changed. The Vive is the straight up better product. So Oculus has to add to it's value proposition and they want to do so by funding devs and getting (timed) exclusives for their platform. I think that's pretty fair, same as Nintendo with Bayonetta 2. It wouldn't exist without their funding(probably). If what they said a while back is true, they are selling these headsets at close to cost and are not selling them for a profit. A lot people figure these headsets should be like monitors, but the difference is that monitors are neccesary.VR needs a reason to convince people to buy it and I personally think the way to do that is through content.

What was it Yahtzee said once? "When you don't have to compete, you don't have to care"?

That's the nightmare scenario, but on a more nuanced look I don't have a problem with timed exclusives(I understand other people do, and to them frankly I give the thumbs up, good for you for having standards even if it's one I don't personally believe in). That said, if it works to drive sales does anyone really think this is going to stay as merely 'timed' exclusives? That's something time will tell.

However I admit I might be biased against Occulus because a comment made by them a while ago is still stuck in my craw, about how they 'feared other VR headsets will crash the industry' or some such bullshit that pretty blatantly read as 'Would you fuck off and just let us monopolize and abuse this market please?'

Exclusivity makes us more money and is good for us.
We're part of the industry.

Therefore it's good for the industry.

ron1n:
Man I'd almost forgotten the oculus was even still a thing. Been nothing but HTC Vive dominating the marketing.

Has anyone published actual sales figures yet?

I see a lot of noise from camp Valve and camp Facebook, but not many numbers from either of them. It suggests to me that sales have been somewhat below what either of them were expecting and neither feel like bragging about it.

Of the two Occulus seems to be pursuing sales more aggressively of the two, which would follow. Valve often take a laissez faire approach to selling, which really spoiled Steam Machines.

I changed my order from an Oculus device to a Vive at pretty much the last minute. The reasons being that the Vive is turning out to be the more open player in the field, 360 degrees room-scale being a pretty big deal, tight integration with Steam which I am bound to forever anyways, and the gaming muscle of Valve.

There is no question about it. When Half-Life 3 and Portal 3 make their big entrance, they will support room-scale VR and be optimized for the Vive.

Ha ha ha. Oh god. I came here for PR BS and this is still too much.

Oh boy. This is fun.

Tiamat666:

There is no question about it. When Half-Life 3 and Portal 3 make their big entrance, they will support room-scale VR and be optimized for the Vive.

Doubt that. Portal gave people motion sickness without VR back in the day, and VR will probably make them puke right away.

Pirate Of PC Master race:
Ha ha ha. Oh god. I came here for PR BS and this is still too much.

Oh boy. This is fun.

Tiamat666:

There is no question about it. When Half-Life 3 and Portal 3 make their big entrance, they will support room-scale VR and be optimized for the Vive.

Doubt that. Portal gave people motion sickness without VR back in the day, and VR will probably make them puke right away.

Not necessarily. There is already a Portal inspired VR demo for the Vive, which is very nice. It doesn't feature actual portals, but other interesting puzzles in the same style, and due to the teleportation movement, there is zero motion sickness involved.

Even in games with normal movement, I found that you get used to it after a while. At first my brain was also like "WTF is happening!?" and there was the slightly nauseous feeling. But just after a few days with the Vive I practically stopped having any problems at all.

Bribing people into locking their product to only working on your hardware is 'good for the industry'? Sure.

 

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