Back in the very, very early days of the Oculus Rift headset, Oculus promised backers a bundled VR copy of Doom 3 BFG Edition — which at the time sounded like one of the single most awesome things to play in virtual reality. This did not pan out for a variety of reasons, including a fight between Oculus and the Doom franchise's owners and the fact that fast-moving shooters are possibly the single worst genre for VR. Over two years later, though, it's found a replacement: CCP's space dogfighting game EVE: Valkyrie, which will ship with all preorders of the Oculus Rift.
To be clear, we still don't know when preorders will open. Or when precisely the Rift will be shipped, except that it'll be the first quarter of next year. Or how much the Rift will cost. Or how much VR games like Valkyrie will cost on their own. We also aren't totally sure what Valkyrie's full release plans are. The game was originally announced as an Oculus Rift exclusive (with an adorably optimistic 2014 release date), then expanded to Sony's Project Morpheus, now PlayStation VR; we haven't yet seen it on the HTC Vive. As of today, a statement says the game is "premiering on the Oculus platform," which suggests a timed exclusive — although the point is really moot, since the Rift is set to be the only major VR platform at launch.
Despite starting as a tech demo, EVE: Valkyrie was arguably considered the first potentially "real" VR game, a big-name studio project that was genuinely fun to play instead of an interesting proof of concept. Now, beyond being good news for fans of the EVE Online universe or shooting things in space more generally, today's announcement is more evidence that Valkyrie is shaping up to be high-end VR's flagship experience.
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