MMOs and the Their Future Use of Virtual Reality

MMOs and the Their Future Use of Virtual Reality

VR exploded quite a bit in the last two years. It sort of slowed a bit, probably to let the tech catch up a little, but it hasn't gone away.

The Pantheon twitter asked the following.

Virtual Reality - Which side of the fence are you on, do you think Virtual Reality is the future of gaming or will it be a passing trend?

I'm going to tailor my thoughts a little more towards MMOs, but they'll apply to gaming in general as well. 

I think VR as it is currently implemented is a bit of a passing trend. Heavy helmets the current controllers aren't going to remain this way and accelerate to mainstream adoption.


If the tech were in a position where it felt like wearing my normal eyeglasses, wireless, and less bulky/limited, then I would be a heck of a lot more ready to put on the device. While I say that, I can't help but think about VR TV's. That was definitely a passing trend.

There's also the limitations placed upon game development. While it adds so many layers to let developers tell immersive stories, it's also a LOT more complicated and in many ways limiting to gameplay too.

Right now we're seeing AR gain so much traction because it's easily integrated into every-day actions. I can pull out my iPhone which is in my pocket already and play Pokemon Go. I don't need another device, and it doesn't limit my mobility.

As much as I want MMOs to go virtual reality like a Star Trek holodeck, I don't think they can without radically changing the gameplay. WoW's model is the current mainstream. I can't imagine playing that way in VR. 

VR lends itself to physical movements/inputs. That didn't work so well in Darkfall. It works in Skyrim and single-player games fairly well, but combining all of that with latency and other players becomes much more challenging to execute in an MMO.

I just don't see it without radical alterations that I'm having a hard time believing will ever happen.

Verdict: Passing trend.

  • I ended up buying an Oculus last year when they reduced the prices to semi-affordable. I enjoyed VR games, especially Lone Echo. The wires, the constant needing to be aware of my room limitations and head cold caused vertigo whenever I donned the headgear caused me to disconnect for a while. Unfortunately, I haven’t reconnected it since. Last year, I would have said VR is the way to go. Ever since the start of the new year, AR is showing more and more promise to the point that I’m willing to wait.

  • I had to google AR to find out what it is.

    At the moment I think AR is pretty nice, but for games it has setting limitations with it being grounded in reality.

    VR has at the moment still has potential, but till they improve it enough to get over the current limitations (mainly the room/clunky controllers) it currently is a great niche product. (Kick ass in any games/simulations that have you stationary, eg space sims)

  • It’s the future. When they figure it out it will give people the same feeling I got logging into Everquest for the first time. Which seems to have lasted as inspiring for a little over a decade. So they will need new tricks beyond that. But they have a decade.

  • VR is here to stay! But as with anything else new on the market, they’ll try to shoehorn it into every game and genre and they’ll fail in many cases.
    In a few years we’ll have better, more lightweight and wireless options, game developers will have figured out how to make it work on certain genres that don’t work well yet and given up on trying to make every genre work.
    I don’t think it will replace gaming as we have known it, it’s going to add to it and give us more options.