Star Citizen, the massively crowd-funded space adventure game, committed to adding VR support back in 2012, before the now relatively ancient Rift DK1 had even begun to ship. Unfortunately the game’s VR support hasn’t seen much attention beyond some early efforts. In a recent update, developer Roberts Space Industries says they’ll be refocusing on VR early this year.
While parts of the still in-development Star Citizen have seen support for the Rift DK1, game-wide support for more modern headsets is still lacking. With the game still in an alpha/early-access state, and with shifting Rift timelines since VR support in Star Citizen was promised way back in 2012, it’s understandable that the feature is not yet fully implemented. However, backers of the game’s crowdfunding efforts are understandably excited by the prospect of being able to step inside of the game’s ambitiously massive universe.
In an end-of-year livestream by Roberts Space Industries in December, the question of VR support was posed to CEO Chris Roberts who said that the company would be refocusing efforts on VR support in early 2016. VR community regular David “Mageoftheyear” Watson kindly transcribed Roberts’ response for us:
The status of VR integration is that we’ve been pretty busy with getting [Alpha] 2.0 [out] and we’re trying to get 2.1 so I would say we still have some stuff to integrate from the most recent CryEngine drops. They’ve been actually doing quite a lot of VR, I’m pretty sure you guys have noticed that they’ve completely doubled down and they’re all VR now.
So there are some updates on VR that we need to integrate in. It’s a little more complicated because we’ve changed the engine so much, we’ve changed the rendering pipeline to enable us to do a lot of things that we need to do so it’s not very easy. Nowadays we’ve diverged from CryEngine where we don’t take regular updates from them any more although we will cherry pick certain features that maybe we’re not working on that we think would help out well and VR is a good example of that.
So it’s really just a matter of getting some engineering time in the Frankfurt team. The Frankfurt team… [includes many of] the guys that originally did the VR work at Crytek so they know it pretty well but I would be expecting it to get up to speed with the most recent [VR] stuff sometime early next year.
Roberts further says that the goal is to support all major VR headsets. With Crytek’s growing focus on VR for CryEngine and now more than $100 million raised in on-going crowdfunding efforts for Star Citizen, it certainly seems like they should be able to deliver. The real question is the timeline… with the Rift set to launch in Q1 2016, it’s unclear if VR support for the title will be ready by the time the first headsets hit consumers.