Enter the giants

Last week (actually the week before, I was traveling and doing a poor job of trying to write every day) we were talking about barriers to entry that exist for major games publishers in VR. I was emailing with your friend and mine Alistair about the lack of a viable market for any games developer looking to make more than $200k on their title (for the uninitiated, that is everyone).

Today publisher 2K announced their first VR title, Carnival Games, coming to HTC’s Vive, Playstation’s VR, and a release on Oculus Rift at a later date. It’s significant as 2K spends serious money on its Triple-A titles, and so are putting a toe in the water with the closest thing they have to a sure bet.

Carnival Games was a hit for Nintendo Wii (~9m copies sold), and so replicating the Wii’s controllers and re-jigging the experience to take advantage of VR goggles is an obvious step forward.

The move is analogous to the emergence of email two decades ago: hey we’re not sure what the web is about yet, so let’s make online versions of the things we’re used to. In this way, 2K can make something entirely expected, leveraging an existing franchise, and investing the bare minimum possible while it figures out what the opportunities might be.

Scott Macleod calls this:

…(a) classic Mcluhan-esque mistake of appropriating the shape of the previous technology as the content of the new technology.

As I’ve said before, I’ll take this every time versus just standing still. The path forward is iterative, it always has been.

See you in the parlour.


I’m trying to write every day. Why don’t you try too?