These Quest 2 games Meta must show at its Gaming Showcase
At the Meta Quest Gaming Showcase, Meta has to make a big splash. Here are some of the VR games you can expect to see.
Everyone agrees that Meta Quest 2 needs to showcase big first-party VR games.
It should be the platform holder's job to deliver big titles, but Meta has been holding back for quite some time. The last big hit from Oculus Studios was Resident Evil 4, which was released in October 2021 (!) and has since left a gaping hole.
Big VR games take time, and the numerous game studios Meta has acquired since late 2019 have likely been working diligently on new titles in secret. Hopefully, some of these VR games will finally be revealed to the public on June 1.
Third-party studios, whose content is the backbone of the ecosystem, are also expected to announce new projects. Meta is contributing to the development of 150 new VR games for Meta Quest under the Oculus Publishing label. But what kind of first party VR games can we expect to see?
Meta Quest needs more RPGs
In the Meta Quest Gaming Showcase teaser, Meta hinted that a port of Sanzaru Games' Rift title and role-playing game Asgard's Wrath or an all-new game in the same universe could be announced. Meta acquired the studio in early 2020.
Meta Quest is in desperate need of VR RPGs. If I asked you to name three RPGs for Meta Quest 2, what would you say? Chances are you won't be able to think of a single title. Because RPGs are few and far between on the VR platform.
Meta found in a 2019 market study (see sources below) that the largest potential gaming audience is that of so-called story seekers, these are gamers, who like narrative titles and fantasy or role-playing games. This group is larger than hardcore gamers, competitive gamers, and parents who play with their children. Accordingly, Meta is likely to have invested in just such VR games.
Live service titles retain gamers
If Meta does announce an RPG, I hope it is designed to be expandable. Because Meta Quest needs a title that will keep players on their toes for a long time, with a constant supply of new content and quests. A true MMO: That would be asking too much. But it has to be a live service game if Meta wants to prevent the title from disappearing from players' minds after a few weeks.
Speaking of live service games, that's one of three characteristics that I think will make a future VR megahit. The other two are: a strong multiplayer component and VR-specific game mechanics that cannot be replicated in any other medium.
There is plenty of supply in the multiplayer genre. Meta's gaming studios BigBoxVR ("Population:One"), Downpour Interactive ("Onward"), and Ready at Dawn ("Echo VR") are all expected to be working on new multiplayer content. Meta is shutting down Echo VR's servers on August 1, 2023, and most likely has an unannounced multiplayer title from Ready at Dawn up its sleeve as a replacement. Onward 2 is rumored to be coming from Downpour Interactive. BigboxVR is likely to present new content or a roadmap for the battle royale Population: One.
Meta needs a head-turner
Camouflaj (Iron Man VR) and Twisted Pixel Games (Wilson's Heart), on the other hand, could present single-player titles with a narrative twist, possibly with a major license behind them. Either way, it fits the profile of these studios.
But for the Meta Quest Gaming Showcase to be a success and make waves outside the VR niche, Meta will need something else: a title with big appeal.
Will it be GTA: San Andreas, which was announced in October 2021 and which Meta hasn't said anything about since? Will it be Assassin's Creed, which has been in development forever and has already had some gameplay details leaked? Or maybe a VR port of Roblox?
Whatever it is, Meta Quest needs an announcement of this caliber to make VR skeptics sit up and take notice, and to bring masses of new people into the ecosystem.