Valve might think VR exclusives are bad, but Oculus executive Jason Rubin says they're good0 Comments
Word surfaced just two days ago that Valve boss Gabe Newell isn't a fan of platform-exclusive VR titles — his official word was that Valve "[doesn't] think exclusives are a good idea for customers or developers." As it turns out, Oculus head of content Jason Rubin disagrees. In a recent interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Rubin discussed how he feels exclusive titles will help promote the virtual reality market.
Much of Rubin's comments come down to what he feels are business-minded tactics — essentially, with the additional funding provided by exclusivity deals, VR developers will more quickly be able to approach their goals of making large-scale games.
"The average gamer is now aware of $100 million games," Rubin said. "And while we certainly cannot build a $100 million game that takes four years, [...] we can try to get closer to that by funding significant leaps beyond the financial certainty that a developer would need to have to do it on their own.
"So what Oculus has said is, 'Why don't we throw more money into the ecosystem than is justified by the consumer base,' which will lead to a consumer base that's larger, which will leave that second generation of developers to say, 'Hey, let's go build these games because now the consumers are there, and kickstart that decade long process in a much shorter length of time.' And, to do that, we have put huge amounts of money into the ecosystem, more than any of our competitors."
Rubin's statements do hinge on the idea that Oculus would be helping developers fund their games — both Newell and Rubin agree that this is a crucial part of jump starting the still-burgeoning VR scene. Unlike Valve, however, Oculus want to see the games they fund running on Oculus headsets, and according to Rubin, striking a deal to make any given software a timed exclusive eases the development process.
"[In] a lot of cases," Rubin said, "we're looking at software that's in process, where the developers are running to the end of their logical stream of cash and they come to us and they say, 'I want to put this in your store,' and we say, 'That's awesome. However, we can tell it's kind of unfinished.' And they're like, 'We can't finish it. We don't have the money to finish it.' And we say, 'Well, how about we give you a little extra to finish it and in exchange you bring it out as an exclusive in our store for a limited amount of time, continue to develop for all platforms, and then put it out on all platforms?' The better game gets to all consumers in that case. And those are the deals we're making. And that, to me, makes a lot more sense than just let this thing work itself out over a decade."
It could very easily be argued that Rubin and Newell both have their minds set on the future of VR, and that their different means would become largely irrelevant given an arrival at the same ends. Even if one company makes more money from VR than the other, both are doing what they feel is best to keep development alive.
VR Exclusives Are Good, Oculus Exec Says After Valve Boss Says They're Bad, GameSpot