Ubisoft CEO: VR is Wii-like in terms of accessibility

"What's very interesting about VR is that you have accessibility," says Guillemot. "So a lot more people can come to this industry, like with the Wii, or like the touchscreen, like we saw with Apple."

During a conference call today with investors about its most recent earnings report, Ubisoft chief Yves Guillemot shed some light on the company's perspective regarding VR game development and its value to the industry.

"What's very interesting about VR is that you have accessibility; a lot more accessbility than you have with a pad," Guillemot said, in response to a shareholder's question about the company's VR game development strategy. "Because just by moving your can interact with the world you're in. So a lot more people can come to this industry, like with the Wii, or like the touchscreen, like we saw with Apple."

The Ubisoft CEO's comments are notable because his company has already invested a significant amount of money ("a few million Euros" according to Guillemot) into VR R&D, and some of the fruits of that investment showed up at E3 this year in the form of VR game demos from Ubisoft studios.

One of those demos, Ubisoft Montreal's Eagle Flight, was set above a Paris cityscape and controlled via motion sensors in the player's headset in a way that writer Keith Stuart described as "surprisingly intuitive" after the event.

"The fact that we create worlds is a big plus, because when they're created you can have a [VR] experience that is adapted to different types of customers," Guillemot told investors on today's call. "So for example, if you go into the world of Assassin's, you will be able to walk around and visit, or you will be able to have small elements to follow."

However, Guillemot took pains to say that this did not mean the company was announcing any VR projects, nor was it against developing guided (i.e. not "open world") VR experiences.

His comments in this call are especially intriguing because they fly in the face of a common sentiment that current virtual reality games, unlike mobile or motion-controlled games, are daunting to new players and often make them feel ill. Many developers also see open worlds as a taboo of VR game design.  

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