Imagine if Battlefield 5 was only playable on a GeForce graphics card. Or Half-Life 3 needed an Asus monitor. Tying games is a bit of a ridiculous thought, but in truth it’s no different to what is being done with the Oculus Rift. In framing the VR headset as a platform rather than peripheral, it has given Oculus free rein to build a closed ecosystem. Naturally enough the pioneering VR creator has come under fire, but Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey has come out and defended his company’s decision to invest in exclusive content.
“You see Sony investing in their content the same way,” explained Luckey, via Tech Crunch. “They want to make things that take advantage of their features that they have in the best way possible. Over time, that’s how the VR industry is going to move forward. In the short‑term and the long‑term, it’s good.
"The short‑term pain that some people feel, and I totally understand, is I want to play this game and I’m not able to right now. The reality is, I can see where that’s painful for some people, but that doesn’t mean that it’s bad for the VR industry, or that it’s fragmenting it, or in the long run, it’s not the right way for the ecosystem to work.”
While not necessarily bad for the industry or the wrong way to go about it, there’s no denying Oculus Rift exclusives are fragmenting the VR industry. A fledgling industry which is struggling for market share being carved into tiny pieces for the respective headset audiences.
Luckey goes on to explain that any first-party games or Oculus funded titles will remain exclusive to the Oculus store forever. However, with third-party deals Oculus is inclined to opt for timed exclusivity rather than locking it down totally.
"We don’t ask them to stop developing for other platforms,” said Luckey. “We don’t tell them they can’t launch on other platforms. In those cases, they are going to be coming out on other platforms aside from Oculus in the future.”
I think comparing what is essentially a PC peripheral with a single-use console is a bit of a strawman argument. Traditionally there have been so many barriers to console games working on PC and vice versa, whereas the act of scooping up Oculus Rift exclusives is neither a matter of software nor hardware support. A PC with an HTC Vive and a GTX 1080 is more than capable of playing Edge of Nowhere. Rather, Oculus is deliberately locking down games in order to bolster its own peripheral’s appeal.
Source: Tech Crunch