Crytek Moves to Go Full VR, Announces Awesome Virtual Reality Game

Crytek, a German video-game developer known for its highly realistic video-games and its high performance game engine CryEngine, is preparing to push into Virtual Reality (VR) gaming, UploadVR reports.

“At Crytek we have always been pushing the limits of what we can do,” said Crytek’s director of production David Bowman, “but VR excites us as a team in a way nothing else has before.” He added:

[VR is] going to change the way we view entertainment. If you want to be relevant in four years in game development, you have to have a VR solution.

VR technology places users in artificial worlds built with computer-generated scenery. First developed for the space program, military simulations, and industrial applications, virtual reality entered the entertainment and video-gaming industries in the 2000s.

The progress of VR has been limited by the lack of suitable interface hardware for consumers. VR interface gear for precise hand and body motion sensing and high resolution head-tracking viewers have been highly priced specialized hardware so far. But next-generation, affordable consumer headsets like the Oculus Rift surround users with high-resolution 3D scenery and permit full immersion in virtual worlds and video-games.

The Era of Virtual Reality is Here (Microsoft)

CrytekLast year Facebook purchased Oculus VR, the team behind the Oculus Rift, for $2 billion, which shows the commitment of the social networking giant to surfing the coming VR wave. Facebook is not alone: Microsoft has recently announced a partnership with Oculus VR to bring Oculus-powered VR to Xbox gamers.

“Advances in technology have finally allowed the geniuses creating virtual reality platforms to bring their visions to life like never before. The era of virtual reality is here,” states the MIcrosoft announcement. Most leading developers of video-game have announced support for the Oculus Rift in their upcoming titles.

Crytek added Oculus Rift support to CryEngine, which is available to developers for an affordable monthly subscription.

“Since showcasing our own work with VR, we’ve seen an overwhelming response from developers who want to use CryEngine for their virtual reality projects as well,” said CryEngine Creative Director Frank Vitz. “CryEngine offers a degree of visual fidelity that many people feel is foundational to a compelling VR experience. We can’t wait to see what other CryEngine users create now that they have VR capabilities at their fingertips.”

Crytek showed impressive VR demos at the recent E3 gaming conference, and company representatives confirmed that Crytek is working on a VR title called Robinson: The Journey. Crytek states that the game will offer players an unparalleled sense of presence in a game world as they assume the role of a young boy who has crash-landed on a mysterious planet. With freedom to explore their surroundings in 360 degrees of detail, players will become pioneers by interacting with the rich ecosystem around them and unearthing incredible secrets at every turn.

“Today’s VR technologies are enabling us to bring together CryEngine’s capabilities and our legacy in creating immersive gaming experiences like never before,” said Bowman.

The time we’re spending in Robinson: The Journey as we develop it is transforming the way we think about games, and we can’t wait until everyone has the chance to set foot in this universe for themselves.

Images from Crytek.

Giulio Prisco is a freelance writer specialized in science, technology, business and future studies.