Rumor mill: A big-name AAA video game title may be making its way to the VR platform. A studio that works closely with Rockstar is looking for talent to work on an “open-world AAA VR project.” It does not mention what that project is, but rumors suggest it might be a VR port of GTA V.
Australian developer Video Games Deluxe (VGD) has posted several job listings on LinkedIn as it gears up to work on what it says will be a “AAA” virtual reality game.
“Looking for experienced programmers to help us develop our next AAA Virtual Reality Open World game,” the listing reads.
It’s looking for a senior game play programmer, game designer, and seniior animator. The Motley Fool speculates that the project might be Grand Theft Auto V.
The rumor that the project might be GTA V stems from the fact that VGD has worked exclusively with Rockstar Games since 2013. It is the same company behind the spinoff VR title LA Noire: The VR Case Files. Rockstar has a full library of open-world titles going all the way back to Grand Theft Auto 3. So, why GTA V?
For starters, VGD’s first Rockstar VR port was the aforementioned truncated LA Noire VR port, so the logical step would be the next open-world game Rockstar produced, which would be Grand Theft Auto V. Skipping up to Red Dead Redemption 2 seems overly ambitious. Older games are easier to port to VR since they tend to be less hardware intensive.
It is not likely to be the first Red Dead game either. The senior animator position description mentions the new hire will be specifically “working with characters, vehicles, weapons, and general props [emphasis mine].” Animating vehicles pretty well narrows it to either LA Noire or one of the GTA games. Grand Theft Auto V is now seven years old and was originally released on the PlayStation 3. It is right in the sweet spot for a VR makeover.
The other possibility is Video Games Deluxe is working on an LA Noire follow-up, which would make sense considering VR Case Files is rather short. However, it seems more likely that Case Files was a testbed for VGD to see what it could do with an open world Rockstar title in virual reality—an experiment to gauge the logistics of doing something more ambitious. A full game port akin to Borderlands 2 VR seems more appropriate, but this is just my own musing.
That said, bringing Grand Theft Auto V to virtual reality would be a step in the right direction for Rockstar and VR in general. Having a genuine port to the platform would give the game maker a VR foundation on which to build new VR IPs moving forward.