Bethesda has announced exciting new plans to bring VR versions of its highly popular post-apocalyptic RPG, Fallout 4, and its recently released Doom reboot to the HTC Vive in 2017. Bethesda VP of marketing and PR Pete Hines, who made the surprise announcement at the publisher's E3 conference in Los Angeles, mentioned how modern VR was first showcased at E3 2012 with Doom 3. Hines says Bethesda has been quietly working on different VR initiatives and projects ever since.
"Since we first showed off modern VR with DOOM 3 BFG at E3 2012, we have dedicated ourselves to the technology, constantly pushing ourselves forward," said Hines.
The VR version of Fallout 4, however, will require a few changes including tweaks to the game's conversation interface. The company did not specifically mention how Vive's motion controller will be used in the game either. Bethesda will also have to deal with the issue of motion sickness, which is a possibility when players rapidly move through longer distances in a VR environment.
The team, however, is confident of porting its popular titles over to VR.
"We think that VR is the perfect fit for truly immersive games like our massive open-world RPGs," Hines said.
"At BE3 Plus, attendees were given a taste of what's to come, exploring the world of Fallout 4, using the game's Pip-Boy and interacting with Dogmeat – all in full virtual reality."
"Let's not make a short version of Fallout 4 - the promise is the whole game," game director Todd Howard said.
While the entire Fallout 4 game will be making its way to VR next year, the Doom VR transformation will let players "take a virtual tour of Hell and get a look at the very latest in graphics". It isn't clear whether the full game will make its way to VR or not yet. However, a "virtual tour" might make more sense given the game's intense speed.
"If you thought Survival Mode was an intense Fallout experience," Hines said. "You ain't seen nothing yet."
Released in November 2015, Fallout 4 was the company's biggest launch of the year, raking in over $750m in revenue in the first 24 hours alone. The RPG also won best game at the Bafta Game Awards 2016 recently, marking Bethesda's first win for the popular series.
With the competition heating up in the virtual reality sector, more gaming, software and hardware developers will look to tap into the growing market.
"VR will be a major focus at E3," Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Olsen told USA Today.