Publisher looking at modality of play and how this could work on VR

EA exploring virtual reality game development

EA is exploring the possibilities of developing games for virtual reality hardware, according to the publisher’s CEO.

Speaking at SXSW, as reported by Polygon, Andrew Wilson said the company was looking first at how consumers were currently playing games in the living room, on PC and on mobile, which would inform how people might then play VR titles.

"When we think about making games today, we think less about the technology or the means of experiencing the game, and we think more about the modality of play," he said. "So, how are you trying to interact with that game?"

"There’s the ‘lean back’ modality, which is, I’m sitting in my living room across from an 80-inch TV, 7.1 surround sound, and I want high-def, high fidelity, highly immersive entertainment.

"That’s the first modality that we have to sort of fulfill for games. The second is the ‘lean in’ modality; that’s kind of the PC type, where you have a lot of drive for shooters, RPGs and RTS-type games. Irrespective of what computer is driving it, there’s this proximity you have to the experience and that’s the style you want to play that.

"The third is the ‘lean over,’ that mobile modality."

Wilson added that there was demand for a new way to play games beyond the current platforms available on the market, and EA needed to investigate how to develop experiences for tech such as VR in future.

"The thing I challenge my team to right now is, ‘Listen, there’s clearly a desire to add a modality of play to the three we’re currently focused on," he said.

"I don’t know who the technology partner is that’s going to deliver that modality for us, but let’s start thinking now about the experiences […] so that we can deliver experiences that make sense for you; experiences that deliver on the promise and the fantasy of being inside a video game."

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