Gaming giant EA will "wait and see how big the market is going to be" before developing virtual reality products, a top company executive has said. Chief financial officer Blake Jorgensen, likened the potential market for VR to the Wii U and PS Vita, two platforms EA doesn't develop for.
Speaking during the UBS Global Technology Conference (via GamesIndustry.biz), Jorgensen said: "I think the reality is, the next one to three years, it's probably going to take some time to build up a sizeable marketplace and you might see alternative uses for virtual reality first before it becomes gaming. Longer term, five-plus years away, I think there's certainly a market there and it will be another exciting way to enjoy gaming."
EA has yet to commit to VR in any meaningful way. There have been no EA-developed demos and no planned games for any of the main VR platforms – the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, PlayStation VR or Samsung Gear VR.
"There's some challenges still and I think the biggest challenge is just the size of the market," Jorgensen said. "We don't make games anymore for the Wii or the Wii U because the market is not big enough, the PS Vita – the Sony product – we don't make games for that anymore because the market is too small, so it's all about the size of the market.
"As one of the largest software producers we have all of the manufacturers of equipment coming to us to try to sell us on their equipment and giving us development kits to try to build software for it. So we'll build software for various ones but we'll really wait and see how big the market is going to be."
Next year has been dubbed the year of VR (by us, and many others) with the releases of all the major players set to happen over the next 12 months. VR will be the talk of the industry, but it has uses beyond the video game market that may well be where its initial success lies.