Oculus and CCP Games announce a partnership today to include a copy of EVE: Valkyrie with every pre-ordered Oculus Rift VR headset upon the hardware's launch.
Despite a lack of information regarding the launch details for Oculus' VR headset, the Rift, the company is ramping up for the event nonetheless. Today Oculus announced a partnership with CCP Games, developers of EVE Online, to bundle a copy of the VR-enabled space shooter EVE: Valkyrie with all pre-orders of the Oculus Rift. Whenever the Oculus Rift finally launches, pre-orderers will find a copy of EVE: Valkyrie bundled in the box and ready to play on day one.
Software launching alongside a major hardware release can, has and will again determine the success of said hardware. If Halo: Combat Evolved had not been an Xbox launch title, the Xbox One may never have existed. Wii Sports single-handedly ushered in an era of motion controls and made the Wii the most successful platform of its generation. EVE: Valkyrie has the privilege of being that game for the Oculus Rift.
There's really so much more to this deal than just, "EVE: Valkyrie is bundled with the Oculus Rift," though. The Oculus Rift, the HTC Vive and PlayStation VR are heading a new wave of hardware that has the opportunity to influence gaming in meaningful and significant ways. And EVE: Valkyrie is now in the prime position of being that first major game release to have started it all. Will it be, though?
EVE: Valkyrie, for those unfamiliar, is a multiplayer space shooter set in the EVE Online universe. Players will put on their VR headset and take control of a spaceship with which they'll dogfight to their hearts content. While EVE: Valkyrie is now revealed to be a bundle-in for Oculus Rift pre-orders, it's also planned to support PlayStation VR as well as be available as a non-VR PC and PlayStation 4 title. Details regarding whether the game will be made available prior to the Oculus Rift launch are not yet revealed, either.
Perhaps more than anything, EVE: Valkyrie is a high-profile, large franchise game from a huge studio -- the likes of which are scant on the list of upcoming VR titles. EVE: Valkyrie's success could very well pave the road for future blockbuster games to support VR, or its failure could certainly scare large publishers away from the technology.
News regarding the Oculus Rift's launch date, its price, its launch line-up of supported games and so many more details are yet to be revealed. With the HTC Vive now targeting a launch in April of 2016, many are speculating that Oculus will try and beat their competition to market, but now that their launch is hinging on the availability of EVE: Valkyrie and with so much work left to do... perhaps a launch delay into later 2016 is a realistic possibility.