Masahiro Sakurai Almost Worked On VR Title? – Gameranx
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When you hear the name Masahiro Sakurai, you likely think of a few things. First, you think about his long-standing career with Nintendo. Second, you probably think of all the franchises he’s worked on, the biggest one being Super Smash Bros. But the third one comes from his YouTube series, “Creating Games.” If you’ve been watching it, you’ll realize quickly that this man is a genius and visionary in the field of game design. He has seen how things could go and got ahead of the game, or in other aspects, tried to make sure that games would be “fun for everyone.” But one thing you can say he hasn’t done is going into the field of VR.
Part of this is because Nintendo doesn’t have a VR setup itself. However, it should be noted that Sakurai has praised VR in the past, including when the Oculus VR was the only thing coming out. That was back in 2013, and he even did a column talking about the potential of such a headset. He later did another piece talking about how the gaming industry could benefit from having VR.
Enter Palmer Luckey, who was the founder of Oculus. He noticed how Masahiro Sakurai praised the potential for VR and set up a meeting between the two to discuss the developer making something for the Oculus.
According to reports, Luckey would let Sakurai make whatever game he wanted with complete control on the creative front. He would also be paid handsomely for jumping onto the Oculus ship. That usually would be enough to entice someone to jump over to the other side, but Sakurai didn’t. Why was that?
The answer is that while Sakurai knew he could “give his all” to a VR project if he put his mind to it, the market for VR was incredibly small back then. So any game he made would have minimal impact on the overall space.
That would be not only a wise move but also a spoiler of sorts. Because when you fast forward to 2022, while VR gaming has grown and evolved, it’s still very niche. One of the best VR headsets belongs to Sony, and even they can only sell a few million of them. That’s compared to the tens of millions they sell for consoles.
Sakurai’s decision to stay with Nintendo paid off because he made multiple titles that would impact the gaming community.
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