Gearbox Software Awaiting Fan Feedback on Borderlands 2 VR Before Further VR plans are Made
Much like last Christmas, the biggest virtual reality (VR) launch of the festive season isn’t a new videogame rather an older title rehashed for the technology. Borderlands 2 was a very successful title for Gearbox Software when it launched in 2012, and the company will be looking to continue that on PlayStation VR when Borderlands 2 VR arrives this Friday, 14th December. If you happen to be a PC VR owner who’d love to see the title come to Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, it looks like Gearbox is waiting to see how well it does on the industry’s best selling headset before making any other plans.
VRFocus spoke with Gearbox Software’s Producer on Borderlands 2 VR, Mario Rodriguez, via email to learn more about the title and its exclusivity.
It was the release of a trailer in November that prompted the question around support for PC VR headsets with a disclaimer at the bottom that noted: “Borderlands 2 VR is exclusive to PS VR for a minimum of 5 months from launch.” When VRFocus enquired about the possibility Rodriguez responded: “We’re listening to the community and fans on what they want to see in the future for the title, but we have nothing to announce at this time.”
So there’s a lot riding on Borderlands 2 VR’s success. It obviously won’t do the same numbers as the console/PC version but the more interest it gets the better the chance of a port – lets not think about Resident Evil 7 biohazard, shall we. When asked about any other IP’s possibly coming to VR – Gearbox Software did release Desert Bus VR, and has IP’s like Duke Nukem under its belt – Rodriguez said: “There are no plans at the moment, but the team working on this title is dedicated to researching and developing new and unique opportunities for Gearbox.”
VR is still a niche market, and for many big developers still not seen as profitable, so we were keen on finding out what drew the studio to porting its biggest franchise. “It started when one of our developers imported Borderlands 2 to a VR headset just for fun,” said Rodriguez. “You couldn’t move, shoot, or really do anything besides move around. But even with just that, we were all amazed and excited to experience Pandora in VR, so we knew we had to bring the whole experience to PSVR at that point.”
“When making changes, we really wanted to emphasize what’s cool about VR,” he continued. “And as it so happens, the core game experience of Borderlands 2 is perfect for VR! That said, we did make sure to optimize certain elements to create a more enjoyable single-player experience. For example, adding B.A.M.F. Time (Bad Ass Mega Fun Time) was a fun addition to further amplify the experience but wasn’t necessarily a needed change.”
Gearbox Software is hoping to draw both new players and seasoned ‘Vault Hunters’ to Borderlands 2 VR. “Borderlands 2 VR is the full core experience of Borderlands 2, so it’s an awesome introduction to the story for new players, adds Rodriguez. “But also, the new features provide a fresh experience even for those who have played the original game 100 times.”
Borderlands 2 VR is due out at the end of the week, be sure to keep an eye out for VRFocus’ review.