“Weren’t expecting that were you?” said Pete Hines, Bethesda’s VP of Marketing, after revealing that an incarnation of Fallout 4 (2015) and Doom (2016) are in development for virtual reality on the HTC Vive.
Hines, on stage at Bethesda’s E3 2016 press conference, told the audience,”we want to give you a glimpse into where we’re headed with VR where you can expect us to remain a leader,” and revealed that playable VR versions of the Fallout 4 and Doom would be shown at the company’s BE3 game showcase following the press conference.
While Bethesda parent company Zenimax is in ongoing legal action with Oculus over work done by CTO John Carmack who was formerly employed by id Software (another Zenimax-owned company, with games published by Bethesda), Hines alluded to that early work and positioned the story to credit Bethesda as an early pioneer in VR.
“Now the first time anyone experienced modern VR was at E3 2012, and if you were there and lucky enough you may remember getting to play Doom 3 BFG in our booth. Now at the time we’d solved some of the toughest technology challenges posed by VR and people were amazed,” Hines said on stage. “Since then we’ve quietly continued our pioneering work in VR and tonight we want you to see and experience what you feel when you put on a headset and play the latest triple-A games in the industry.”
That’s when Hines revealed that Fallout 4 be coming to the HTC Vive in 2017.
“…we think that the greatest promise of VR is its ability to immerse players completely into virtual worlds, and that the best games for that experience will be first-person open-world RPGs. So we have Fallout 4 for you to play,” he said. “Wander the Wasteland, check out the iconic Red Rocket, try combat; I’m telling you, with a Pip-Boy on your arm, and dog by your side, a gun in your hand, it’s pretty incredible.”
In addition to Fallout 4 coming to the HTC Vive, Bethesda has also announced a Doom VR experience. While details are light, it sounds like the Doom VR experience will be more of a tech demo than a fully realized VR version of the game. In the Doom VR experience, Hines says “you can take a virtual tour of Hell and get a totally unique look at the very latest in graphics and true next-gen rendering from our idTech 6 engine.”
Among other suggestions that the company aims to take VR seriously and make it a major part of their business & development strategy, Hines went so far as to reveal a new version of the Bethesda logo with the letters ‘VR’ appended to it, which was also touted above the company’s VR demo stations at their BE3 event.
“…this is a just the beginning of Bethesda’s future in virtual reality,” the company writes on their official blog.