Bethesda recently announced that Fallout 4 (2015) is coming to HTC Vive this October, and Skyrim (2011) is soon to follow sometime in late 2017 on PlayStation VR. Amidst talk of platform exclusivity, the company took to twitter to quell some fears in the community, tweeting out yesterday that they “plan on supporting as many platforms as [they] can.”
While Bethesda’s Doom VFR is coming to PSVR and HTC Vive straight away, the company hasn’t spoken in specific terms exactly when either Skyrim VR or Fallout 4 VR will make it across the aisle to other VR platforms (read: timed exclusivity). On top of that, the company has made no official mention of Oculus Rift support for any of their upcoming VR titles. Consider the following tweet though:
— BethesdaGameStudios (@BethesdaStudios) June 13, 2017
Bethesda’s parent company ZeniMax was engaged in a legal battle with Oculus/Facebook earlier this year, and to say there’s bad blood between the two companies is a bit of an understatement when ZeniMax was awarded $500M in damages after bringing a lawsuit for $4B surrounding exactly who owned the intellectual property that was vital in creating the Oculus Rift.
Despite these legal troubles, Bethesda’s plan to support “as many platforms as [they] can” sounds like good news for Rift owners, considering it would take very little to enable Rift/Touch support after ensuring the initial pull for HTC Vive via Steam. After all, SteamVR supports HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and OSVR natively.
It’s entirely possible that Bethesda decides to enable a hardware lock specific to the HTC Vive, necessitating a “Rift hack” like the one used to skate around the headset check inn Google Earth VR before official Rift support was available. They are however a pragmatic company, one that likely won’t throw away the opportunity to earn the full price of $59.99 for either VR versions of Skyrim or Fallout 4.
The question remains: is Bethesda going to openly snub Facebook (and Rift owners by proxy) by locking them out of their VR games? The answer may be less dramatic than you think. Bethesda may not openly list Rift support, but unofficially allow it access without announcing it to the world. A win-win (sort of) for Rift owners and Bethesda.
Only time will tell, but the chances of stalking The Wasteland or battling a 9-foot, club-totting giant on your choice of VR hardware are good, because whatever happens, there’s always likelihood of a day-1 hack should ZeniMax take the grudge to its logical extreme.