Those who are waiting for the upcoming The Bard’s Tale IV will have something to tide them over in the meantime: InXile Entertainment just released The Mage’s Tale, a virtual reality role-playing game that takes place between The Bard’s Tale III: Thief of Fate (1988) and The Bard’s Tale IV.
The Mage’s Tale is available for $40 on the VR headset Oculus Rift along with the Oculus Touch VR controller. It’s also InXile’s first VR game, though it’s a veteran RPG studio. InXile’s founder is Brian Fargo, who has storied history with creating iconic RPGs. Fargo previously founded Interplay Entertainment, which developed the innovative fantasy RPG The Bard’s Tale in 1985, the postapocalyptic RPG Wasteland in 1988, and later on, its spiritual successor Fallout (1997). It also published several classic RPGs such as Baldur’s Gate in 1998.
After founding InXile, Fargo and his team created sequels for Wasteland and The Bard’s Tale, raising almost $3 million on the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter for Wasteland 2. They found similar enthusiasm for Torment: Tides of Numenera, a spiritual successor to Dungeons & Dragons-licensed RPG Planescape: Torment. For Tides of Numenera, they raised the second-highest amount ever for a game on Kickstarter: a whopping $4.2 million.
The Mage’s Tale is described to be a VR RPG that’s at least 10 hours long, and features puzzle-solving and dungeon exploration. Players fight monsters and craft magical spells as they take the role of a mage apprentice who’s trying to save their master.
At the Electronic Entertainment Expo tradeshow last week, Bethesda also announced that its blockbuster RPGs Fallout and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim will be coming to VR. Market analyst SuperData predicts that this will be a year of growth for VR, with VR software projected to grow by $1 billion and sales of premium headsets to reach 21 million sold. Still, the nascent industry is facing some growing pains, particularly when it comes to a dearth of content.