Valve’s hit free-to-play shooter Team Fortress 2 is to be given support for the upcoming Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.
Though this isn’t exactly something the industry hadn’t suspected – the company will offer at talk at GDC about its efforts porting the game for virtual reality – it was far from certain Team Fortress 2 would be available for launch on the Occulus Rift.
We think that both augmented and virtual reality are going to be a huge deal over the next several years," Valve’s Joe Ludwig told Engadget.
Valve has been working on its own hardware and peripherals, but it doesn’t yet have a virtual reality headset.
For this, Valve has relied on an unofficial partnership with Oculus, which provided Dev kits to the Bellevue, Washington studio.
"We don’t have any hardware," explained Ludwig.
"We’ve done a bunch of experiments with various bits of hardware, but we don’t have a display that we can ship."
"Oculus is actually out there doing this, and so we’re partnering with them because they have the hardware and we have the software and we can help each other out. And we can both learn a lot in the process."
Valve is rather unique in its investment in VR tech; it is reportedly the only company outside of Oculus to have a whole team devoted to virtual reality.
"Team Fortress was sort of the obvious choice for this," said Ludwig.
"The Team Fortress community is large and healthy. There are millions of people playing TF every week, but they’re also used to us shipping a lot of updates."
As for whether or not the company has any plans to release a VR mode for its numerous other first-person titles, Ludwig says the company is experimenting.
"There’s certainly interest internally in moving other Valve titles," he said. "We don’t know yet what the community thinks of all this."
"We’ve played a bit in Left 4 Dead; we’ve played a bit in Half-Life 2. We haven’t taken any of those other games to the point where they’re anywhere close to being ready to be shipped; we’ve just sort of experimented with head tracking a little bit."
In the meantime, Valve is eager to start getting feedback from fans about its foray into virtual reality.
"We don’t know how strongly people will react to VR," Ludwig says.
"We don’t know how popular it will be, what people wanna see. It might be that we need to learn a lot more from TF before we move on to other titles. We just don’t know what’s gonna happen."