Virtual Reality

VR platform wars heat up as Oculus snags exclusive Blade Runner content

VR platform wars heat up as Oc...
The Blade Runner sequel will be accompanied by VR content exclusive to Oculus
The Blade Runner sequel will be accompanied by VR content exclusive to Oculus
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The Blade Runner sequel will be accompanied by VR content exclusive to Oculus
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The Blade Runner sequel will be accompanied by VR content exclusive to Oculus

Virtual reality continues its push into Hollywood with the announcement today that the long-awaited sequel to Blade Runner will see accompanying VR content released around the film's launch in October 2017. At this stage what those VR experiences will entail is unknown, but due to an exclusivity agreement they will only be accessible on the Oculus Rift, furthering the increasingly heated platform war that seems to be brewing.

Hollywood's move into the VR sphere follows the well-trodden path of creating broader multi-platform content designed to crossover with film properties. Today's announcement at Oculus' big annual developer conference (covered in greater detail here) that the producers of Blade Runner 2049 have exclusively partnered with Oculus to make and distribute Blade Runner VR experiences also follows a well-trodden path – of companies looking to establish their platform as a de facto standard and muscle out the competition.

In July, Disney announced it would be moving Star Wars into the VR market and bringing on board David S. Goyer to create an exclusive VR film focussing on Darth Vader. Goyer is no novice in the Hollywood game having worked on Christopher Nolan's Batman series and the latest DC Superman movies. Disney also noted that its VR content will not be peripheral material, but significantly connected to the larger Star Wars universe depicted in the films.

At the same time a Star Wars VR experience entitled Trials Of Tatooine was launched on Steam, which, while short, was a fascinating insight into how virtual reality could excitingly integrate with big film franchises. Trials Of Tatooine was only accessible through the HTC Vive, pointing to a new platform war emerging between the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift with each company battling to secure exclusive rights to big Hollywood properties as the major entertainment players start to move into this new medium.

The Star Wars announcement in July didn't indicate whether Disney's future VR content will be exclusive to one platform, but alongside today's Blade Runner announcement it was also revealed that a deal between Disney and Oculus will see the development of VR experiences based on classic Disney characters.

There is no word on whether the Disney deal promises exclusivity to Oculus or whether other platforms will be included, but the next 12 to 18 months look to be dramatic as we watch multiple VR platforms battle for the biggest Hollywood properties.

Source: Variety

5 comments
kdn102
WTG Oculus! Keep contradicting yourself and making your product worse for the market! You promised to not make things exclusive and locked to a certain piece of hardware, yet you continually implement ways of doing JUST THAT!
zr2s10
I hate exclusivity rights. I know they're trying to get people to buy into their platform, but when entry costs are high, they need to stop doing this. Instead of me going out and buying an Oculus system when I already have a Playstation VR (I don't, just an example) to get this content, I'm just not going to get the content. I miss out, and they miss a sale. If I have an Oculus system (again, I don't, wishful thinking), I'm not going to go out and buy a Playstation VR setup just to get the Batman Arkham VR game. Again, they miss sales, and I miss content. Although, I am seriously considering Playstation VR just for that game. I loved the standard console series, excellent games!
StWils
I would have expected that the history of the early decades of the Personal Computer would have informed the thinking of various companies. When the conflict & competition between WinBloze & Crappple got resolved by Linus Torvalds and Linux and also when industry players collaborated to create design standards for things like the USB standard I thought that the obvious value of common design standards would stick. Apparently not just yet.
Bob Flint
VR for the masses is about as popular as the 3D TV likely never really get off the ground. I find the confines of the mask effect, weight, narrow visual angle, lag, and heating up hardware just too expensive and not worth the effort...
crhylove
Anyone who buys an Oculus needs their head examined. They are data mining your every move straight back to Facebook, one of the most evil institutions on the planet. The Vive is WAY out in front in VR technology, hasn't screwed over all their users (yet), and is more fun by almost every review out there right now. This games exclusivity to a shitty nanny state NSA platform means I will never play it.