With the unique ability to control time with your movements, SUPERHOT VR (2016) can make you feel like you’re in The Matrix. It’s on all major VR platforms, which cemented the studio a whopping $2 million revenue over the 2019 holiday season alone. Since then, the indie studio behind the game has been relatively quiet about the potential for future VR projects. Although there’s been some talk of VR being a possibility for its SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE standalone, it seems it just isn’t in the cards—at least for now.

Update (July 10th, 2020): The news was served up yesterday that MIND CONTROL DELETE would come to PC and console on July 16th, free to all owners of the base game before that date. And no, it doesn’t seem a VR version is being planned for what the studio calls a “standalone game set in the world of Superhot.”

The studio responded directly to fans asking for an update on their VR plans, casting doubt on whether we’ll ever get a VR adaptation of the franchise’s next big installment.

Original article (September 11th, 2018): Despite the overwhelmingly positive reception of Superhot VR on all platforms, the studio has so far said that the upcoming standalone expansion, Superhot: Mind Control Delete will not include a VR component. The studio describes the expansion, which is currently available in Early Access, as a “rogue-like twist on the linear nature of the original SUPERHOT.

A VR version of Mind Control Delete might not be completely off the table however. Speaking to the official Vive Blog—for the occasion of Superhot VR becoming available on Viveport—PR Manager Szymon Krukowski of the SUPERHOT Team indicates that consumer interest will play a factor in whether the expansion sees VR support.

“Honestly for now we are focusing on MIND CONTROL DELETE but at the same time we never really left VR. If there is enough interest in [MIND CONTROL DELETE] we might try recreating something similar for VR,” Krukowski said.

When asked what’s next for the studio, Krukowski confirmed there are some prototypes in the works beyond Mind Control Delete.

“Most of the team is deep in developing SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE,” said Krukowski. “At the same time though we are working on a few prototypes. Some of those are really hard to call games even. Piotr [the studio’s game director] is always doing something on the side. He doesn’t stop. It is almost compulsive. We love to experiment, create stuff that is engaging for us. Honestly though let’s finish [Mind Control Delete] and than see what happens.”

SEE ALSO
Interview with 'SUPERHOT VR' Game Designer – The Joy of a Slow Motion, Full-body Experience

It’s interesting that Krukowski says the studio “never really left VR.” This may refer to the other projects the studio is working on; earlier this year a job posting indicated the company was seeking a Producer for “a shiny new VR project,” and the studio further said that their next VR title would not be a sequel to Superhot VR, but “a proper evolution.”

It’s our understanding that the original development of Superhot VR was funded by Oculus Studios; given the apparent success of that project, it’s possible the pair are working together again on something separate from Mind Control Delete, though nothing has been announced. Maybe we’ll hear something at Oculus’ Connect developer conference later this month?

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  • Raphael

    I’m not really a fan of this on-off not fully committed to VR attitude. Developer “might” bring VR IF next release (NON-VR) sells enough.

    I liked Superhot but I never fully committed to it because of its one-hour core content (tried it and got a refund on steam).

    Meanwhile there are plenty of small name and bigger name developers who are fully committed to VR.

    • jj

      in the nicest way i can, i disagree.

      Superhot is well worth the money paid for it, and its a versatile pc based game. we were lucky they brought it to vr because like PaulDowns said less than 2% of their users even have vr. From a business perspective thats a lot of hours spent on the clock for something that isnt going to return the value on the market.

      being fully committed to vr is still a gamble, not for whether or not vr will make it but whether your company will make it. for some people its just not worth their families lively hood to put their company at risk for a chance at vr. Even if they are successful in vr, theyre not going to earn nearly as much as if they made a traditional game and some companies cannot afford to do that, or just have no need to take a risk like that, they could end up losing the company. its risk/reward assessment

      • FireAndTheVoid

        I don’t really understand the thinking that it isn’t worth adapting to VR. The studio has already developed all of the game assets, levels, etc. To port it to VR, they need to add VR-compatible menus and adapt the control scheme to VR controllers. There may be issues with gameplay being too easy or hard in VR, or it may not have the right pacing, but does that mean it isn’t worth doing?

        • jj

          its a risk/reward assessment.
          Its a little more complicated then that.. There’s a lot of changes that need to be implemented from a core level after menus and control schemes. Not to mention optimizations because of the difference in rendering from pc – vr. Its a lot of work that non-vr-devs often assume is a quick change.

          Thats still hours and hours of work deducted from their main project/goals which = money. if that money cant be made up in sales, it isn’t worth doing. and when vr sales are less than 2% its not worth doing. So any vr games we get are pretty much out of good grace and a gamble at this time. unless oculus/sony pays you to develop.

          • FireAndTheVoid

            I’m sure you are right. They’ve determined that it isn’t profitable at this time to invest in porting to VR. Unfortunately, I have lost almost all interest in 2D gaming and will not purchase this game if it is not in VR.

          • jj

            yeah im the same way i soooooooo want them to make it vr and i only play VR games now. I was just trying to see it from a companies perspective :)

          • jj

            Raphael has some good points about this above. Like they made wayyyy more off of SuperVR than i thought

        • Raphael

          jj “This user is blocked.” <<< doesn't know he's blocked?

          • FireAndTheVoid

            From Discus: “Q: If I block someone, will they be able to see my posts?
            A: Yes. It is only a one-way block, so that you can make someone invisible to you. They can still see your posts, and (technically) reply to you, but you won’t get notified or be able to see their comments, discussions, or replies.”

          • Raphael

            Lol! Thanks for explaining. I didn’t grasp how it worked.

          • Raphael

            Not really impressed with DisQus system. A block should be both ways. It’s really just a “mute” in this case.

          • JJ

            and here you are trying to start an argument when I posted a legit comment, mostly for others to see and not you. hence the reason i did it on my account. But since your so keen to conversation with me, here is what i put…

            “in the nicest way i can, i disagree.

            Superhot is well worth the money paid for it, and its a versatile pc based game. we were lucky they brought it to vr because like PaulDowns said less than 2% of their users even have vr. From a business perspective thats a lot of hours spent on the clock for something that isnt going to return the value on the market.

            being fully committed to vr is still a gamble, not for whether or not vr will make it but whether your company will make it. for some people its just not worth their families lively hood to put their company at risk for a chance at vr. Even if they are successful in vr, theyre not going to earn nearly as much as if they made a traditional game and some companies cannot afford to do that, or just have no need to take a risk like that, they could end up losing the company. its risk/reward assessment”

          • Raphael

            I can’t really disagree with your points about superhot. VR is still a NICHE market and will be for years to come.

            I think part of the annoyance from my perspective is that they chose at some point to develop for VR… It was their first game and it won awards.

            Game development is a tough industry to be in whether you’re working for top game publishers or just the little lone developer.

            Remember when Codemasters brought Dirt Rally to VR? I understand it didn’t bring a big return due to the niche market VR represents… nevertheless… annoying they didn’t bother to commit.

            The question is… for a developer who brought VR to Superhot…how much technical investment does it take to bring their next game to VR?

            Should a developer have an expectation of massive sales and a great return on their VR game? When VR represents a small percentage of the gaming market then the developer should realise before they begin that this or that VR game won’t bring the revenue a tiny 2d rectangle version might bring.

            Having said that… Can a VR game be profitable enough at this stage? Beatsaber generated the most sales of any VR game at launch.

          • jj

            yeah im mostly curious whether they like injected vr “ontop” of what they had originally, or really replaced parts down to the core. I guess what im saying is if the vr edition was “ontop” of the original, these next editions might not really have any vr code in them and it could be starting from scratch in some sense.

            other then that I agree its an odd time and almost impossible for indie vr devs.

          • Raphael

            Yup, I chatted with one lone developer who was disappointed with sales of his VR racing game. His next game is non-VR but he says he might go back to his VR game and add new content if he generates enough income.

            Just read this about superhot:

            “After completing the Kickstarter with sufficient funds for the VR-enabled version, the Superhot team realized that they needed to rebuild the game from scratch to provide the best VR experience for Superhot, named Superhot VR”

            “According to analyst firm Superdata, in 2017, Superhot VR was the top revenue-grossing VR game in for personal computers and 3rd highest for consoles, bringing in US$2.56 million and US$1.06 million in revenues, respectively.”

          • jj

            dang so did they continue with the vr version for a bases in the next pc otherwise theyll have to start over again.

            and thats SOOO much more than i thought they made.. so the risk/reward situation doesnt make sense anymore.

          • Raphael

            Yup, exactly. That sort of earning for a startup developer who entered a VR design competition is pretty good. They are familiar with raising money on kickstarter as well. I don’t think it would hurt them to continue with VR… that is if they’re genuine fans of it.

            On a slightly different note… I was amazed to learn that valve have a very casual approach to work where game developers decide what they’re interested in developing at the HQ. There’s no command from the boss to sit and develop a particular game.

            They have an entirely random approach. So I guess none of the devs at valve are interested in the Half Life series.

    • Marcus

      For me Superhot VR is the best game ever. I played it for months until I sold my headset.

      • Raphael

        Why did you sell your headset? How long did you have your headset and which other games did you play? Superhot is certainly a great showcase for VR.

        • Marcus

          I sold my headset after one year because I like 6DOF and room scale VR but realized that I do not like cables on my head. I also played Farpoint and Rush of Blood. I bought more (Tethered, Sprint Vector, Eagle Flight, Batman Arkham, among others) but didn’t play those much.

          Right now, I’m waiting for Santa Cruz.

          • Raphael

            Cables are a pain. If Santa crause is entirely mobile powered then I will give it a miss. What we need is a VR system capable of mobile and PC connectivity.

          • Marcus

            My personal impression is that the computing power of a PC does not add much to the fun of VR. Those apps I want to use have simple graphics: Superhot, Beat Saber, Windlands 2, Vacation Simulation, Rick and Morty, Google Earth, Tilt Brush.

          • Raphael

            All depends on the type of content. Simulation fans generally need higher-end graphics… DCS World, IL-2 aim for photorealism. Elite Dangerous. There are great games with simple graphics but for me I wouldn’t want to be limited only to that type of game.

          • Marcus

            I’ve been avoiding simulation games ever since I realized how unhealthy a sedentary lifestyle is.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sedentary_lifestyle#Health_effects

          • Raphael

            It’s all about balance… Someone who plays only seated games and gets no exercise is leading a sedentary lifestyle (as many pancake gamers do). I play BoxVR every day with 1kg wrist weights. I do weights and cycle.

            Avoiding simulation is not an option for me. I bought my first flight sim in 1981.

          • Marcus

            I agree: It depends on how your day looks like. I’m a software developer. So I need to compensate a lot of sitting.

          • Raphael

            Aha! Yes, software developing involves a lot of sitting. If coding in VR (standing) was an option… would you do it?

            I’ve had VR headsets going back to 2006. I had a DK2 before i got the Vive and I believed when I pre-ordered Vive that I wouldn’t have much interest in standing VR. My primary use was for flight sim. Turns out I really loved standing/room-scale. After decades of crappy seated gaming (pushing a mouse and pressing keys is something I wanted to get away from long before DK1 came along).

            BoxVR has become a regular app for exercise along with some of the wave shooters.

          • Marcus

            Interesting development :)

            As for coding in VR: Provided high resolution I would give it a try. But I also would like to try treadmill desks (without VR).

          • jj

            yeah it would be a tough mix, sometimes my headset is flying off and on while other times im programming for vr and dont put the headset on for days.

    • Alextended

      Devs do what they must to survive, can’t blame them for it. Again, it’s not just a matter of adding VR support but making a separate game, they share the same name but they don’t have the same content and mechanics differ too. Pretty sure mind control delete started dev be4 the VR game was out, or at least before it was proven to be such a success, after the original non VR game was a success itself. Who knows if they wanna do a non VR or VR game next. Maybe they’re just done with Superhot altogether. Just let them be.

      • Raphael

        No I don’t think I wanna subscribe to your “anything they decide is fine with me” philosophy.

      • Alextended

        Fortunately the world doesn’t revolve around you and you’ll live in that world where devs do what they want and/or have to whether you like it or not, whether you clumsily translate it to “anything they decide is fine” or not.

  • Paul Downs

    Odd, owning both VR and normal superhot I have little to no interest in Mind Control Delete outside of virtual reality such was it’s excellence. Still given that not even 2% of the user base have VR kit hopefully it will sell well enough such that I can just wait patiently for the VR release.

    • VR5

      On PS4, it’s 4.5% who have VR. Either way, even though Superhot VR launched later than flat Superhot, it sold almost as much (if not more by now) and generated more revenue (requiring less deep sales). So user base isn’t holding back its success at all.

      People like to point out that VR is niche and that devs struggle to make their money back, forgetting that is true for most non VR indie devs as well. If your game is good, it can make as much money and more on VR. Superhot proves that impressively.

  • jeff courtney

    I forget this was not originally built for vr but it is one of the most popular vr games,especially for all my guests who immediately and instantly redownload it to my pc and stay on it all the duration visiting my place.

    • mirak

      Luckily it’s funny to see people play in vr.
      Unfortunately not enough games have a spectator mode, like Job Simulator.

      I know it uses a lot of processing ressources but that might be necessary for VR to democratise.

      It gives headache to watch the pov of someone.

    • Sven Viking

      While the non-VR game came first, SUPERHOT VR was built for VR with different levels and mechanics.

  • Luke

    awesome, one of the best VR games

  • HybridEnergy

    Super Hot was fun and cool, but short. If extra content for it comes to VR I’m in, but it seems like a game that’s dull to play not in VR.

    • Alextended

      Non VR game is a different game.

  • Raphael

    From the wording it seems like VR support depends on whether or not the tiny 2d rectangle version flops. In other words.. if the game is crap then no VR. Seems like they don’t have much self-confidence in their next project.

    • Alextended

      They’re different games, it’s not about adding VR support but making a wholly different game, sheesh.

  • Great to know… Superhot is one of the best VR game out there

  • PJ

    More SuperHot VR the better, one of the games I show off when demoing the the Rift

  • Juan Ritz

    Didn’t Superhot VR sales outperform the pancake variant? I just don’t understand this move in any capacity. Is it their monetary success or satisfying their existing customers that they’re shying away from? I have to imagine that there’s a reasonable explanation. Busy working on the next OP?

  • Alextended

    You really needed this spelled out? SUPERHOT and SUPERHOT VR are different games with different mechanics. In normal SUPERHOT you have standard FPS controls and freely move around the levels (with the same time mechanics), in SUPERHOT VR it’s all made to let you move around in room scale in a small starting space alone, in wholly different areas. Mind.Control.Delete was obviously one taking after the former since its inception (possibly before the VR game was even out, idk) so even if they eventually make a Mind.Control.Delete VR it will once again be a different game and not just a “version”. Unless they change the whole VR concept and give you free locomotion in their game too, then it could be a “version” I guess but then it wouldn’t necessarily appeal to SHVR fans.

    • ComfyWolf

      VR has come a long way, there were a lot of stationary experiences back when SUPERHOT VR released, with all of the VR developments that have happened it’s a lot easier now to create comfortable locomotion. Mind.Control.Delete is a standalone game from SUPERHOT, so it doesn’t necessarily need to appeal to all SHVR fans, it can be something new and separate from SHVR. That being said, I’m not sure which way I would prefer, depends on how they would handle locomotion I guess.

    • VR5

      I agree, adding smooth locomotion would discourage a lot of actual movement and that is what makes SHVR feel so real. But without smooth locomotion, level design in SHVR is somewhat restricted.

      I guess they could add something like branching paths after clearing a segment. You could see several far off parts of the environment and choose where to go next. That might open up new possibilities.

  • Heliosphan

    Huh. So they may only have seen a 2% uptake from VR users but I’d argue they would never have been so popular on desktop had it not been for the VR version being so cool and groundbreaking.

  • Adrian Meredith

    Anyone else hate it when they update a two year old article like it was new?

    • Jonathan Winters III

      Happening a lot lately.

  • MountainK1ng

    I was all planning on loading up Superhot and playing this. I guess it’s good I saw this article. I forgot there even was a flat version of Superhot. I feel bad for people who have only played it flat, because it’s amazing in VR. Seems sort of pointless and gimmicky to play it flat. At least they get this I guess.

    • Jistuce

      There was a free version of Superhot, too.
      I do remember when it was a “game jam” project. That’s actually the only version of the game I’ve ever played. Sorta felt like I had my fill of the concept there.

  • Why do devs make one or two VR games(often One) and jus stop?

    Money issues?

    Surely Alyx would be enough to persuade more games out of many more devs.

    Seems to send the wrong message to other devs and folks who dont have VR.

    Most VR games or casual experiences and some devs make one hardcore game and then some casual game.

    WHy do devs mostly make casual VR games? Where are the hardcore VR games?

    Its as if some devs jus give up/lose all interest.

    What future hardcore games are coming?

    • wheeler

      There was a lot of hype in the early days of consumer VR ~ 2015 to 2017. I get the impression that many devs thought VR would skyrocket in terms of adoption/usage in a way that was uncharacteristic for new mediums and financial expectations and team sizes were set accordingly. Facebook/Oculus in particular was hyping shit hard. But nope, I think this is going to be just as difficult as with other mediums.

      Tons of problems to overcome with many aspects of the user experience. Two examples (among many others):

      (1) Hardware issues: when people can’t use a VR headset frequently due comfort, physical strain/fatigue, frustrating clunky inputs, and friction–all due to hardware limitations, that means they use it less frequently (or eventually not at all–the case with many of my friends). That means they buy fewer games and it’s also more difficult to sustain multiplayer player populations. Devs make less money.

      (2) Most good VR games have to be designed for VR from the ground up, and when devs have to discover (and engineer) how to use a new medium and can’t just plug-in from existing engine facilities for the same mechanics flat game designers have been using since the 90s, that takes a considerable amount of time and effort. The input space for VR is also much larger than more abstract M&K/gamepad and that space must be fleshed out. This is why you keep seeing many “one mechanic” VR games. Building something that’s all encompassing is beyond the capacity of most developers–even HLA is very limited. These difficulties are on top of the usual issues associated with indie game development related to limited resources, and AAA devs that are contracted to make VR games often don’t know what they’re doing and are too risk averse to innovate.

      So it takes a ton of more resources to make good VR games and resources are constrained due to consumers buying fewer games for a variety of reasons. But there is light at the end of the tunnel, e.g. thankfully hardware will improve–things like wireless, improved ergonomics, variable focus, better controller haptics, etc etc will dramatically improve the hardware experience. And on the software end, the hope is that e.g. engines will start to integrate a baseline of VR specific features that all devs can take advantage of out of the box, e.g. possibly with Source 2.

      What I mostly see are very passionate smaller devs sticking around. The ones that were hoping to capitalize on the unrealistic hype (and maybe received some money to add a VR mode or something) are quite predictably looking elsewhere now that reality has set in.

  • ColdWavE

    Well I am gonna refound your game sir