The modern VR gaming industry is barely two years old at this point, but surprisingly we already have a handful of talented developers who are embracing this new platform with every fiber of their being. Leading the list has to be Insomniac Games. The studio that built the Ratchet and Clank franchise that we've come to know so well on PlayStation platforms has partnered-up with Oculus on three VR game releases already. Insomniac Games has delivered Feral Rites, Edge of Nowhere and The Unspoken. All three games have been well regarded by Oculus Rift gamers. Now, it's time to prepare for their 4th, and quite possibly biggest VR experience yet. Stormland is the name of their epic new VR adventure, and it's headed our way in late 2019!
It might seem odd that one of the most highly respected developers in all of video games would choose to have such a tightly knit relationship with an upstart company like Oculus. While so many other AAA developers seem to ignore VR without much of a passing thought, Insomniac has been there from the very beginning. They've worked closely with Oculus Studios to try to deliver truly powerful experiences in these nascent days of VR gaming. The reason for this pairing should seem quite obvious to those of us that remember the original glory days of PlayStation in the mid and late 90's. Back then, developer Naughty Dog was making the Crash Bandicoot series for Universal Interactive Studios and later Sony. Jason Rubin, currently the Vice President of Content at Oculus was one of the co-founders of famed studio Naughty Dog. Meanwhile, a new company called Insomniac Games headed up by Ted Price was getting ready to release their very first game called Disruptor.
Ted Price and Jason Rubin started off as fierce competitors, both hoping to become Sony's most favored 2nd party developer. Naughty Dog of course had their Crash Bandicoot franchise, while Insomniac had Spyro the Dragon and later Ratchet and Clank. These two men would later form a friendship that has lasted the test of time. This bond between two close associates has payed true dividends for Oculus and Facebook when you consider that Insomniac Games has provided some extremely key software titles to the Oculus platform in it's early days.
A company like Oculus, hoping to birth an entirely new platform and gaming ecosystem needed a handful of talented triple A studios to support their efforts. Jason Rubin, acutely aware of the fact that gamers wouldn't really take Oculus seriously without some top shelf content backing them up pondered the possibilities. What studio would be an ideal fit? It didn't take Jason long to consider contacting his longtime buddy Ted Price, and the rest is history. Insomniac has delivered three extremely solid titles already, but their biggest VR effort is yet to come.
Stormland is the name of Insomniac Games new open-world VR adventure game. You play the role of a peaceful terraforming robot, who has awoken centuries after being left to rust in a heap of scrap metal. Slowly, but surely, you augment your damaged robot form, finding random parts strewn across the breathtaking environment. You come to realize that you're in an entirely new world now. A world populated by military robots that are hellbent on sending you right back to the scrap heap. You notice the other terraforming robots like yourself that have been left to rot over the centuries. It's your mission to save your robot friends, and right all the wrongs that have taken place during your long slumber.
If there's one buzz kill accompanying this wonderful new announcement from Oculus and Insomniac, it's the fact that Stormland isn't likely to arrive on the Rift until very late in 2019. Stormland is a very ambitious undertaking for both Insomiac and Oculus Studios, and ambitious efforts like this take some time to incubate. I'm sure most Oculus Rift owners would agree that some things are worth waiting for. While these long waits can be a bit excruciating at times, it's still an awesome feeling to know that we have at least one truly incredible VR game on the horizon in 2019. We'll certainly be watching this one closely and will follow up with any additional juicy details about Stormland as they're revealed.