Criterion Games, the EA studio that developed the PlayStation VR-exclusive Star Wars Battlefront Rogue One: VR Mission, says Battlefront II won’t be getting the virtual reality treatment the developers previously announced, and that no VR missions will be present in the game.
As tweeted by tech directior Alex Mole back in April, VR headset owners would be seeing “something awesome in Battlefront II.” It was previously thought that PSVR support would come lock, stock and barrel with Starfighter Assault Mode, the game’s dogfighting expansion.
Our most recent release was the VR mission for Star Wars Battlefront. Next up is something awesome in Battlefront II
— Alex Mole (@TheRealMolen) April 14, 2017
Metro spoke with game designer John Stanley and Criterion general manager Matt Webster at this year’s GDC. According to the interview, it now appears PSVR support—or any VR support for that matter—has been abandoned completely.
Metro: The other obvious question I have is whether there are any VR options in the game?
Matt Webster: [hesitant] There is no VR.
Metro: Nothing at all?! But you were doing so well!
MW: [laughs] It’s taken enough effort to make [Rogue One VR].
John Stanley: VR for Criterion is something that’s very important.
Metro: You must have learnt so much doing that, it’d be a crime to let it go to waste.
MW: Well it doesn’t, you don’t forget it. I think as Andrew [Wilson, EA CEO] was saying a few months ago. VR is going to be a part of gaming’s future in the coming decade.
Metro: Oh, don’t give me all that!
Metro: It’s a particular shame because first person mode with a starfighter is still useless.
MW: At some point we could sit down and spend a good number of hours talking about where VR needs to get to in order to work with that, because in something like this you’re doing the job of a fighter pilot. And in the real world that has a significant physiological effect on you, which would dramatically limit the audience.
JS: Matt mentioned at the start, how the handling doesn’t feel the same as in VR, and that’s because they’re completely different beasts.
MW: But making the VR demo absolutely informed the work we’re doing now. So there’s a lot of the VR mission’s soul in Starfighter Assault.
This comes as a surprise since a number of job openings first appeared at Criterion, all of which mentioned Criterion’s involvement in Battlefront VR Mission, including an Environment Artist listing targeted devs with “experience developing for VR.”
There was also some apparent mock-ups of a Battlefront II box art featuring an advertisement for PSVR compatibility, as first spotted by a Danish user of the web forum NeoGAF and later corroborated by German forum users.
There’s no telling at this point exactly why the studio decided to scrap the VR project, but we’ll be keeping our eyes out for more information as it comes in. Lets take a look at that Starfighter Assault gameplay trailer one last time and let out a collective sigh, shall we?