Grand Theft Auto creators Rockstar Games could be working on an unannounced VR title, according to an actor’s résumé.

The news was first shared on the ResetEra forums, which linked the résumé of actor Michael Ursu, who is also known for his extensive work across film and TV as both an actor and voice actor.

Ursu lists a number of games on his résumé, including Silent Hill: Ascension, Wanderer VR, Adamantus, an undisclosed game from Genshin Impact studio miHoYoan undisclosed Borderlands title, and an “Undisclosed Rockstar Game” where he would be the principal voice actor.

The résumé has since been updated to omit both the miHoYo title and Rockstar VR game.

Enthusiast-grade VR Treadmill 'Virtuix Omni One' Now Available for Pre-order

Rockstar sits on an impressive amount of IP that could make its way to VR, although straight ports admittedly wouldn’t require fresh voice talent, like Rockstar’s VR port of L.A. Noire (2011) in 2017.

The studio announced in late 2021 that it would be bringing a port of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (2004) to the Quest platform at some point too; there’s been no update since then, including its release date or even a proper game trailer.

Getting a new open-world Rockstar title in VR that isn’t a port is a heady prospect, although the profit potential probably isn’t there yet for big ‘AAA’ studios. Like Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Nexus, we may be in for a pared down (re: not open-world) version of any Rockstar IP, which includes Red Dead Redemption, GTA, Max Payne, L.A. Noire, Midnight Club, and Bully.

This article may contain affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product we may receive a small commission which helps support the publication. See here for more information.

  • Kevin

    An open world Rockstar game you can explore is exactly what VR gaming needs!

  • Gabriel Cash

    “Like Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Nexus, we may be in for a pared down (re: not open-world) version of any Rockstar IP,”

    Only if it has to be released on the Quest. PC VR and PSVR2 can handle big open world games. Either GTA5 or RDR2 would be just the title Sony need to boost headset sales.

    • ViRGiN

      PCVR can’t handle anything more than Blade and Sorcery or Beat Saber, in a business sense.

    • Christian Schildwaechter

      The problem isn’t the technical capability of the VR platform, the problem is the cost for creating a large open world game in the first place, which usually requires sales numbers not achieveable in VR. GTA V has sold more than 180mn copies, so roughly six times as many units as all VR headsets from all vendors combined within the last ten years.

      We are looking at roughly 10mn active VR users, and is fair to assume that even a GTA game sells to (much) less than 50% of all the potential buyers. So a GTA VR for all VR platforms would sell 5mn copies or less, a GTA VR only for the current high end VR platforms PSVR 2 and PCVR would sell less than 2mn, so 2.8% or 1.1% of what GTA 5 sold. Of course development cost doesn’t increase linearly with world size, but just assuming that, the GTA VR open world would have to be shrunk to about 1/36th or 1/90th of the size of Los Santos and the San Andreas countryside.

      • Dragon Marble

        Yes, we need to look at those hard numbers to get a grasp on the harsh reality. However, even the 2mn for high-end platforms seems a gross overestimation. Sky Dance Interactive told us Saints & Sinners sold 10 times on Quest than PC. Sony told us there are about 600,000 PSVR2s out there. Based on those data points, I don’t know how you get the 2mn for the two combined.

        • Christian Schildwaechter

          That’s the reason for the “sells to (much) less than 50%/would sell less than 2mn”. I agree, these numbers are gross overestimations. The 2mn is basically the ceiling, a very unlikely best-case scenario that I use to not immediately get shot down for “being too pessimistic”. And even with this overly optimistic scenario, the resulting numbers aren’t anywhere they’d need to be for a AAA to consider releasing one of their usual games for VR.

          Without something changing dramatically, the most likely options will remain indie titles, the occasional AA venture, VR modes for existing games and very rare AAA flagship projects like HL:A, HCotM or Quest RE4 with a significant strategic investment from the platform owner. And even the flagship projects tend to be mostly slices of the worlds from established franchises with reduced scope like Assassin’s Creed Nexus, with the 2021 Quest RE4 being the exception due to being the port of a 2011 HD remaster of a 2005 GameCube title.

          The typical sales ratio between Quest and PCVR isn’t as bad though. There are several games that sold 10x as many on Quest as on PCVR, for example Ultrawings 2, but these are usually games featuring simpler graphics that PCVR users aren’t fond of. Ultrawings 2 was also the only “realistic” flight-sim on Quest, while PCVR had X-Plane, MSFS etc. And in early 2021 Skydance didn’t say that the Quest version of Saints & Sinners sold 10x as many as the PCVR version, instead it sold 10x as many as the (not cross-buy) Rift/Rift S version on the Oculus store. That ratio probably has gotten a lot worse with now ~20K ratings for Quest vs. ~1K ratings for Rift/Rift S.

          On Steam it has ~6.5K ratings, so it is more like ~2.5-3:1 Quest:PCVR. Typical sales ratios for games that actually make use of a VR PC like Green Hell VR are more 4:1, which makes sense given that we see ~2mn monthly Steam VR users, and monthly Quest use so far peaked at ~6.5mn, with some of these Quest users actually also making up 50% of the Steam VR users.

          • Dragon Marble

            I didn’t know the SDI quote was for Rift store only. Thanks for the correction.

            It’s not all gloom and doom though. At least we know a game like S&S is profitable — they made a sequel. As for even higher budget, AAA games, there is a potential way out: hybrid games like RE8 and RE4. However, we probably need a lot more PSVR2 sales to make even the hybrid model profitable.

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            I also don’t see any doom other than Doom VR. I’m as guilty as everyone regarding wanting to experience beloved AAA franchises in VR, and bought vorpX mainly to turn Assassin’s Creed: Origins into my personal VR Egypt walking simulator. Which didn’t work out as well as I hoped, but from personal experience I can attest that even with only indies, occasional flagship projects and VR modes/mods, VR is f%&$ing great and a lot of fun.

            Hardware is only getting better, studios such as Vertical Robot learned to really push the existing hardware with well designed and optimized titles like Red Matter 2. And even though it is not my thing, Gorilla Tag in January reporting 2.3mn monthly users, USD 26mn in revenue from mostly in-game sales and going viral on TikTok with 4.4bn #gorillatag views was quite impressive, and sent a signal that despite still being a niche, there is a lot of interest in VR and money to be made for developers. PSVR 2 RE4/8 and (universal Unreal) PCVR mods also show that the hybrid model can reduce development costs significantly, and I’d expect more AAA to consider also supporting VR this way in the future. It just takes a little longer than we initially hoped.

      • ApocalypseShadow

        Sorry Chris. But there’s too many assumptions in your comment. Guessing how many users there are, guessing how many sales there will be, guessing what size the game has to be. None of it jives. Headsets won’t stop being sold. Are you talking about at launch? Or over time just like GTA V sold over time of 180 million. It wasn’t at launch. The game sold as consoles sold over time.

        Your assumption is that there wouldn’t be any growth in headset sales because of the game. Your assumption is that a company like Sony wouldn’t spend the money to produce the game when Facebook is spending money to have San Andreas for Quest. With no guarantee it will sell to those 20 million supposed headset sales. And no information about the game only being a portion like one area of San Andreas. It’s implied that it’s “the whole game.”

        Also, comparing GTA V, that was sold on 3 generations of platforms compared to a new platform like VR, doesn’t make sense. Sometimes developers take a risk or, if getting paid or technical support, will produce a title even with a smaller base of users like RE8 or GT7 was for PS VR 2. GTA V isn’t a brand new IP. Just like GT7 and RE8 or RE4 aren’t brand new IPs. They are hybrid games. Even Skyrim for PSVR and PC, was hybrid and made for a smaller base of players. Someone has to take the plunge. And, it was open world just like GTA.

        I think we need more information before assuming things.

        • Christian Schildwaechter

          How many users are there:
          – 1.87% (Steam May hardware survey) of 132mn monthly active users (Steam Year in Review 2021) ≈ 2,47mn monthly Steam VR users
          – 6.37mn monthly Quest players for 2022-10 according to Wall Street Journal, based on internal Meta documents

          Sales (requirements)/Costs:
          – GTA V: USD 800mn revenue on launch day, USD 1bn revenue in the first three days, USD 6bn lifetime revenue incl. GTA Online with 90m copies sold reported by 2018. By now estimates are USD 7.7bn+ in revenue, 160mn copies of GTA V for ~230mn PS3-5, ~160mn Xbox 360-Series X/S and PC, with the PC market at less than 75% of the revenue of consoles and including free versions like from the Epic Store plus lots of promotions to get more people onto GTA Online. So ~670mn devices/160mn copies ≈ 24% market share, actually lower due to ignoring people getting multiple copies for multiple platforms/generations.
          – GTA V is estimated to have cost USD 140mn to develop, 40% more than GTA IV, with the total budget for GTA V development and publishing (meaning including a gigantic marketing campaign) being USD 265mn.
          – The RE4 release on Quest 2 hasn’t led to any significant jump in headset sales in late 2021, while the release of HL:A basically doubled the number of monthly Steam VR users within a few weeks without them later falling back to previous levels. Quest 2 holiday sales lead to a yearly jump up in Steam VR numbers, followed by a drop down almost to the level from the previous fall around March/April, which has been a repeating pattern. If RE4 had moved lots of new users to invest into a Quest 2, we would have seen a jump in new reviews for other VR games on the Quest store too in the following months, and a bigger jump in the percentage of Steam VR users with Quest 2. Neither of which happened, so “[my] assumption […] that there wouldn’t be any growth in headset sales because of the game” (that I didn’t actually make) would have some precedent.

          Also I’m not the one mixing up mods and ports and hybrid design and native VR games. The starting point was the VR-only Assassin’s Creed Nexus, RoadToVR’s “pared down (re: not open-world)” statement and the misinterpretation of this being due to technical limitations instead of development costs. GTA V was my (extreme) example for the cost of creating a large and rich open world game and the unit sales numbers that pay for the development. Of course AAA will rerelease their successful games over and over again on multiple platforms/console generations to redistribute cost, and Skyrim for Vison Pro and Apple Watch is probably only a question of time. But they cannot count on creating the next 20 year franchise, each game has to make back its development and marketing costs itself, as success and therefore further cost reducing ports/re-releases/sequels aren’t guaranteed.

          As mentioned in my other comments, the currently best way out of this dilemma for VR is hybrid design that allows spreading the development costs over flat and VR and multiple platforms/generations, with mods of existing games a workaround that doesn’t require support, but at least being tolerated by the game authors.

          All this is well known. The numbers are all well known too. Which is why “someone has to take the plunge” is what VR enthusiasts want, but rarely happens, because instead “someone does the math and consequently decides against taking the plunge”. The VR community just declaring that the industry needs to jumpstart VR with AAA titles and will later benefit from the grown user numbers, doesn’t make it true. In fact sales for the few VR AAA ventures were both low and not very impactful, except for HL:A. Which was also the first release of one of the most desired franchises in gaming since 2007, getting people to buy it DESPITE VR and having to pay up to USD 1000 for an Index. And even though HL:A was an extremely successful VR game, the money it made absolutely pales to what Valve would have made with investing the same amount of time and effort into HL2 E3 or even HL3.

          I think we know exactly why there is so little AAA engagement in VR, and all the ideas by VR enthusiasts why Microsoft or Sony or whoever should throw eight or nine figure sums at it aren’t based on assumptions at least considering the actual numbers, but mostly on wishful thinking.

          • another juan

            recent official numbers from meta state that only 170K users launch Virtual desktop at least once per month, which would make one seriously doubt those 2.5M active steam vr users estimates

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            @Isaac pointed out that a significant number of Android users never buy a single app, instead using only free-to-play ad or micro-transaction based games/tools. With the largely teen Quest ownership and free apps like Gorilla Tag, VRChat and RecRoom being the most popular, I’d also expect that the vast majority of those using the Quest for PCVR streaming would use the free Quest Air Link instead of the payed for Virtual Desktop. To be precise, with the leaked 178,603 monthly VD user out of ~1.25mn monthly SteamVR using a Quest, 85,7% would have to use Air Link. That should be within the realm of reality.

          • ViRGiN

            VRLFG consistently reports between 4000-8000 users at any given time, that includes fake users in games like pavlov which is constantly around 500, and then you see only about 100 in game.

            nothing has changed for the past several years.
            VRLFG all-time charts shows more or less uprise in PCVR users, but it means there is more people spending even less time than before.

            PCVR is dead.

          • Andrey

            Just for some statistics and another point of view – in 90% of cases I use my Q2 through Link on PC (equally Oculus or SteamVR depending on the app) and I never use VD. And, I believe, there are quite a lot people like me. I mean I know about VD and I even tried it, but couldn’t see how – in my paricular usecase – it can make my gaming/in general user experience (browsing/video watching etc.) any better compared to just using Link/SteamVR though Link. Sure, I won’t argue if there potentially could be some additional latency/drops of image quality/etc. that can be clearly seen on the graphs but… I just satisfied enough with what the standard Link and Air Link can provide I think? So let’s imagine an average user who just bought a VR headset and just want to play some games on PC – would they purchase some additional app that is not a game itself that can pretty much only do the function that you can actually use for free out-of-the-box? I don’t think so. So, imo, any numbers regarding VD don’t really represent anything about VR (and PCVR in particular) at all.

      • Gabriel Cash

        If it’s that expensive to do, how are there modders out there doing it for free? Until last year there was a well received GTA 5 VR mod until Rockstar ordered them to take it down, which is one reason some of us suspect they might be working on their own VR version. I’m sure it’s not payware quality but if someone in their bedroom can make a passable VR version for free, it shouldn’t be unaffordable for developers.

        Also with any growing platform there is a need to invest to have desirable software on it to sell the hardware, To me the selling point of the PSVR2 is that it can handle AAA titles. If it’s just going to be a Quest competitor, what’s the point of it?

        • Christian Schildwaechter

          Mods are something very different. Your reaction (that I responded to) was to a quote about Assassin’s Creed Nexus, which isn’t a mod of an existing game, but a new game entirely created for VR, meaning it has been created from scratch, with all the resulting development costs I was referring too. That’s like building a new house.

          A mod only takes an existing game and adds/replaces camera and input to different degrees (and in some cases a lot more), which of course also incurs development costs, but not for building the world. That’s more like changing the locks in an existing house to give access to other people. Obviously a lot cheaper than building it from scratch.

          VR mods have been around longer than VR games. People started hacking stereoscopic cameras into VR the moment the DK1 dropped, with early attempts for Skyrim, Dishonored or Mirror’s Edge keeping all gamepad controls and only adding 360° stereoscopy, with sometimes jarring effects like very tiny mountains and the sky hanging at ceiling level. And there are still a number of (very interesting!) YouTube videos of John Carmack at E3 2012, where he demonstrated a prototype of the DK1 before the Kickstarter launch with a Doom 3 BFG mod he had created.

          The problem with mods has always been the different interaction style in VR. Flat FPS games have the character run at impossible speeds, take away the camera control and leave out all the small details that make a world feel alive, as players wouldn’t notice them while rushing by. So “designed for VR” games have been seen as the holy grail for a long time, with e.g. HL:A tuning down the speed a lot, but adding tons of details you can interact with and making interactions that would be a simple button press in a flat game, like reloading or upgrading a weapon, getting health and collecting items/loot, intricate physical activities.

          That’s very hard to integrate into existing games, though everybody’s preferred base game for excessive modding, Skyrim, can be turned into something that has a better native feel than most VR native games thanks to a metric ton of mods. With “mods = cheap, but lacking integrated design” and “native = well integrated design, but require lots of sales to pay for development”, the compromise that Sony has been pushing for is VR modes from hybrid design, where VR isn’t the main target, but the integration is already planed for during design, resulting in a game that can work well both in flat and VR. The result is for example RE8 cut scenes playing in 3D, so you can still look around, while RE4 on Quest shows them on a virtual 16:9 screen.

          – GTA V modded for VR: quite cheap since Rock Star added a 1st person view, lacking native controls and only for those with a strong stomach. For some unknown reason Rock Star doesn’t like/stopped the 3rd party mods, significantly reducing the chance we’ll ever get to play GTA V or RDR 2 in VR.

          – GTA X VR only: not going to happen, because GTA is one of the most expensive to produce franchises, with the matching required revenue. Meta’s Quest store generated USD 1bn in revenue with several hundreds of games over the course of 2.5 years, that’s what GTA V made in the first three days after launch. 80% of that was on launch day alone, with more than USD 6bn in lifetime revenue so far (incl. GTA online)

          – GTA VI with hybrid design and well integrated VR mode: might happen, as the added development cost would be much closer to that of a well done mod, and it largely depends on whether the designers will see it a good fit. But the timeline for the release will to 99% be determined by the flat version, because a similar percentage of the development costs will be payed for by the flat releases on PlayStation and Xbox. VR may desperately need versions of GTA or RDR, but Rock Star doesn’t need VR.

          RE8 managed to avoid a lot of the things that would make it an uncomfortable VR experience, but the whacky physics are a staple of GTA (and very stomach turning in VR), so it wouldn’t be trivial to come up with a mass-compatible hybrid design. Gorilla Games didn’t manage to find such a solution, so instead of extending the existing open-world Horizon Zero Dawn/Forbidden West, we got the (VR only) spin-off HCotM that takes place in the same world, but removes most of the open world aspect, replaces the combat with a more on-rails version and turns the travel-talk-puzzle-combat game loop into mostly a variant of “The Climb”, keeping almost only the very pretty look from the original game (and probably reusing assets from Forbidden West to reduce development costs), and not much else.

          • Gabriel Cash

            Fair enough, we’re talking at cross purposes. I agree with you, I don’t see many developers creating big budget open world games exclusively for VR. Maybe Sony or Valve which also made headsets might be inclined to? I would certainly be expecting more VR ports of existing games, along the lines of Skyrim and No Man’s Sky. I’ve been playing the latter on PSVR2 and been very impressed. Open world games are particularly well suited to an immersive format like VR and I hope we will get a few more.
            By the way, wasn’t Rockstar developing a Bully sequel that vanished off the radar? Maybe they’ve decided to release that for VR.

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            In many ways “No Man’s Sky” is the perfect type of game for a VR version. Hello Games (deservedly) got a lot shit for overpromising features on launch, with the main aspect drawing interest being the practically infinite number of different worlds the game could create all by itself. That part was actually true, only there wasn’t a lot to do in all these worlds, but the minuscule four-person team had found a way to create a giant open world without needing a team of 1000+ like GTA V (the “thank you” post of which lists more than 5000 people).

            In the past, every tree, bush or empty bottle had to be placed by a level designer, with tools allowing to “paint” vegetation onto landscapes. We now have automatic gamedev tools allowing rule based population of ecological realms, like describing the density of flowers closer to rivers, enabling even single developers to create very large and realistic environments. Currently there is a lot of hype about AI tools for game development that not only randomly place items, but can create meaningful quests and individualized dialogues, with very interesting approaches.

            And new systems like Lumen and Nanite on Unreal Engine 5 allow using very high quality assets and the extremely high resolution textures required in VR to be able to pick up a wooden spoon and see the detailed structure of the wood, which are even freely available from the Quixel Megascan library for UE5 developers. This can enable a level of visual quality previously only achievable by large AAA projects with lots of well payed technical artists doing nothing but performance optimization.

            So I expect that new automation trends in game development just becoming available will help bridge the gap between VR benefiting from large, rich worlds that invite to explore them, and creating these large world having been prohibitively expensive for a small market like VR in the past. Big projects with large teams will still have their place, but if software can reduce 90% of the current grind work still required for 3D games (and it already does that today compared to 15 years ago), the Indie studios currently dominating VR can handle projects that would currently be considered AA/AAA.

            The 2017 “Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice” was created by a team of only about 20 people thanks to advances in game development tools, and you’d never guess that from its look and scope. I have no idea what happened to the rumored Bully sequel, and beyond guessing that we won’t see traditional AAA game projects in VR due to their costs, I wouldn’t dare to guess what Rockstar is planing or how they might connect their franchises to VR with all the new possibilities just opening up.

      • gothicvillas

        Adding a passable VR to an existing title is feasible. No one ask them to make new game from ground up.
        For a fraction of a cost GTA5 could have been made pretty good vr game.

  • Jimmy Page

    Not gonna happen