The soccer season is underway, and millions of gamers will soon be playing FIFA 15, the latest installment in Electronic Arts’ all-conquering soccer simulation series. But with the virtual reality headset Oculus Rift, you might soon be swapping your couch for a seat in Real Madrid’s Bernabéu stadium, controlling stars like Gareth Bale, Ronaldo, and James Rodríguez far below you.
Oculus Rift is already a gaming sensation, and it hasn’t yet been released to the public. Demonstrations of the game-changing hardware at trade shows and Facebook’s $2 billion acquisition of Oculus VR have ensured that. And Oculus Rift co-founder Nate Mitchell is dreaming that Oculus Rift could one day play host to Electronic Arts’ blockbuster soccer franchise FIFA, saying it would be a “perfect fit.”
His vision of sitting in a virtual stadium controlling the players in front of you is pretty darn compelling.
“You can imagine sitting in the stands and confetti is raining down,” Mitchell told Eurogamer, painting a picture of how immersive Oculus FIFA might feel, “and the four of us are sitting right next to each other and we’re controlling the players on the field — that would be an awesome VR experience.”
He said that he’d potentially welcome an approach from EA to work together on an Oculus Rift version of the multi-million selling soccer series. “It feels like it’s a natural fit, a natural port,” said Mitchell, “so if EA showed up [and said], ‘Hey would you help subsidise some of the risk for us to do this?’ I might actually say, ‘Yeah let’s go for it — let’s see if we can pull it off.'”
Oculus VR is no stranger to teaming up with big-name game developers to create titles for its virtual reality platform. It’s already co-publishing the multiplayer dogfighting shooter Eve: Valkyrie alongside Eve Online creator CCP, so a deal with EA might well be possible. Such a collaboration would certainly boost the mainstream appeal of virtual reality hardware.
There is no release date for the consumer version of Oculus Rift yet, but Mitchell puts its price at between $200-$400 when it arrives, depending on factors like “scale, pre-orders, the components we end up using, [and] business negotiations.”