Though originally set to release on both Vive and Oculus, VR game Giant Cop is now a timed exclusive for the Oculus Rift, putting Vive development on hold. Paid exclusivity is nothing new in the game’s industry, but the fact pre-orders were already open for the Vive version of the game has elevated the argument to a more pressing level.
A VR sandbox game, in which you take on the role of the titular Giant Cop, the Vive version of the game was included as part of a Humble Bundle back in March. Purchasing the game allowed players access to an early build of the title.
Following the announcement that the game is postponing its release on Vive however, the fan reaction has been anything but positive. “We’re a team of people who want to make an awesome game, we’re not after a money grab. With Giant Cop we’re making a piece of art so please respect us as human beings who love what we do,” one developer urged on Reddit.
Meanwhile gamers have asked for refunds from Humble Bundle, only to find their requests refused. Humble Bundle has asked gamers to instead contact Giant Cop developer Other Ocean Interactive directly.
When questioned about the move on Twitter, and accused of not caring about pre-orders, the developer responded, “We care very much but we are a small developer and can only work on one platform at a time.”
The question of Oculus paid exclusivity made headlines when Croteam, developer of Serious Sam, publicly refused the offer. “Oculus did approach us with an offer to help fund the completion of Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope in exchange for launching first on the Oculus Store and keeping it time-limited exclusive,” Croteam CTO Alen Ladavac states in a Reddit post. “Their offer was to help us accelerate development of our game, with the expectation that it would eventually support all PC VR platforms. We looked at the offer and decided it wasn’t right for our team.”
As part of the growing criticism, an email from Valve owner Gabe Newell, the major force behind the development of the HTC Vive, appeared on Reddit. “We don’t think exclusives are a good idea for customers or developers… A lot of interesting VR work is being done by new developers. That is a triple-risk whammy – a new developer creating new game mechanics on a new platform. We’re in a much better position to absorb financial risk than a new VR developer, so we are happy to offset that giving developers development funds (essentially pre-paid Steam revenue),” he explains.
“However, there are no strings attached to those funds – they can develop for the Rift of the PlayStation VR or whatever the developer thinks are the right target VR systems. Our hope is that by providing that funding that developers will be less likely to take on deals that require them to be exclusive.”
Speaking to Kit Guru, Oculus also responded to the situation, saying, “We regularly offer developers financial grants to help fund early development of new titles to accelerate development or expand the scope of the game. In some cases, we exchange funding in return for launching on the Oculus Store first, with the expectation that the game will go on to launch on other platforms.”
There is currently no release date for Giant Cop, let alone the Oculus Touch controllers required in order to play the game. The game was recently shown off during the PC Gaming Show at E3. As we learn more you will find it all right here on Gamespresso.