Rebellion’s CEO Jason Kingsley on Pioneering Commercial VR with Battlezone

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Rebellion, makers of the made-for-VR reboot Battlezone, is a veteran games developer with over 20 years in the industry. Here, in footage taken from a recent Sky News interview with Joe Tidy, the company’s CEO Jason Kingsley shares his reasons for making the virtual reality gamble.

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I first got my hands on Battlezone, then running only on PlayStation VR, back at E3 2015, and it ended up as one of my favourite VR games of the show. Deft production design, tight satisfying gameplay and a pleasantly familiar feel led to me singing the title’s praises.

Rebellion, the developers behind Battlezone, have been around a bit. Founded in 1992, those old enough (and yes, I am) may remember they were responsible for one of the few truly memorable titles to hit Atari’s ill-fated Jaguar console – the technically excellent and genuinely scary Aliens Vs Predator, launched back in 1994. Since then, the company has gone on to successfully develop over 50 titles for just about every popular gaming platform from the last 20 years. These days, the company is best known for its phenomenally successful Sniper Elite franchise.

Arguably then, Rebellion represents a developer with its feet firmly planted in traditional gaming. Why then, after acquiring the rights to the 1980 Atari vector graphics powered shooter Battlezone, did the company decide to reboot the franchise in virtual reality?

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In this interview, taken from unused footage from an interview recorded last month by Sky News, Rebellion’s CEO Jason Kingsley OBE, ruminates on why they felt the time was right to explore immersive gaming and elucidates on some of the unknowns involved in being among the first to bring commercial products to this fledgling platform.

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Battlezone is coming first to PlayStation VR, which is scheduled to launch in the 2nd half of 2016. However, Rebellion have confirmed the title is also in development for the Oculus Rift and other platforms are being explored.

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Based in the UK, Paul has been immersed in interactive entertainment for the best part of 27 years and has followed advances in gaming with a passionate fervour. His obsession with graphical fidelity over the years has had him branded a ‘graphics whore’ (which he views as the highest compliment) more than once and he holds a particular candle for the dream of the ultimate immersive gaming experience. Having followed and been disappointed by the original VR explosion of the 90s, he then founded RiftVR.com to follow the new and exciting prospect of the rebirth of VR in products like the Oculus Rift. Paul joined forces with Ben to help build the new Road to VR in preparation for what he sees as VR’s coming of age over the next few years.
  • Ryan

    I think you mean ps vr comes out first half of 2016. They’ll announce it at gdc most likely. I think they’ve been planning that all this time.