Watch Meta's GDC talk about how Asgard's Wrath 2 was created

Watch Meta's GDC talk about how Asgard's Wrath 2 was created

At GDC, Sanzaru Games spoke about the development of Asgard's Wrath 2. The video is now available on Youtube.


The GDC session is titled "How We Built VR's Largest Open-World RPG" and features Oculus Studios Producer Mari Kyle, Creative Director Mathew Kraemer, Head of Production Jenny Huang, and Director of Technology Evan Arnold.

The talk begins with the creation of the first installment, which was released exclusively for Rift headsets in 2019 and was itself the largest VR game project to date. The studio goes into the lessons learned from the first game, and how they were incorporated into the development of Asgard's Wrath 2.

Mathew Kraemer reveals some details about the AW2 prototype "Genesis". At the time, the game was targeted at the original Oculus Quest. Due to the limited processing power of the headset, the VR game had relatively primitive cel-shaded graphics and small levels.

A game scene from the AW2 prototype Genesis with Abraxas and a panther in a desert landscape.

An image from the AW2 prototype Genesis. | Image: Sanzaru Games

But even for Quest 2, the game had to be optimized from the ground up on all levels of design, and the environments had to be divided into separate zones to make it run well on the headset.

Towards the end, Kraemer talks about what the studio could have done better: The game's onboarding, for example, was too long at two hours, and features that didn't work should have been removed earlier, he says. The team also sees room for improvement when it comes to accessibility.


To illustrate the scale of the project: The studio currently employs about 140 people and has hired up to 180 external contractors to help with development. These are impressive numbers for a VR game.


Asgard's Wrath 2: A record-breaking VR game

Asgard's Wrath 2 was released on December 15, 2023 and currently holds a score of 87 points on Metacritic. The VR game offers a total of more than 130 hours of gameplay.

Asgard's Wrath 2 is currently included for free with every new purchase of Quest 3. Players can enjoy improved graphics with the new VR headset, and an upcoming high-res texture pack for Quest 3 should further enhance the visual aspect.

The session took place in March at GDC 2024. This and all other GDC Meta sessions are now available on YouTube.