TR Member Perks!

The virtual reality game Giant Cop is stuck in a precarious situation after it pulled away from an HTC Vive launch for the game in favor of the Oculus Touch.

The news comes as a shocker for many who have played the game; A demo was available for the Vive both at E3 and as part of a Humble Bundle. No announcement was made at E3 either, with Giant Cop sharing space on the PC Games conference floor. Now, however, Giant Cop has fully migrated to the Oculus as a “timed exclusive” for the platform, according to the developers on reddit. Some players are already demanding a refund after purchasing the demo months ago, but some people are having issues with the refunds at this time. 

Previously, Giant Cop, a god simulation game where you play an oversized cop who must protect the people of Micro City, was to be a Vive launch title. While the game is still on sale at Humble Bundle, it presently does not have Vive support. The developers have also noted on Twitter that the deal with Oculus will make their game better for everyone, and cited their lack of resources as the main reason why they are focusing on one headset at a time.

Oculus, for their part, stated in a response to criticism on the website KitGuru about purchasing exclusivity in general:

“We regularly offer developers financial grants to help fund early development of new titles to accelerate development or expand the scope of the game. In some cases, we exchange funding in return for launching on the Oculus Store first, with the expectation that the game will go on to launch on other platforms. In the case of Croteam, at no time did we request that they stop development for other platforms, and we look forward to seeing Serious Sam be successful across the entire VR ecosystem.”
This comes out as no surprise, as Oculus attempted the same tactic to gain the timed exclusive rights to Serious Sam VR from developer Croteam during E3. CTO of Croteam, Alen Ladavac, discusses as the same deal Oculus described above, and insists that Oculus never asked for total exclusivity for the game. 
 
Gabe Newell, founder of Valve and a major player in the development and launch of the HTC Vive, also responded to the controversy around purchasing exclusivity. In a letter posted by a fan regarding the attempts of “bought exclusivity,” Newell responds:
 
“We don’t think exclusives are a good idea for customers or developers.
 
There’s a separate issue which is risk. On any given project, you need to think about how much risk to take on. There are a lot of different forms of risk- financial risk, design risk, schedule risk, organizational risk, IP risk, etc… A lot of interesting VR work is being done by new developers. That is a triple-risk whammy – a new developer creating new game mechanics on a new platform. We’re in a much better position to absorb financial risk than a new VR developer, so we are happy to offset that giving developers development funds ( essentially pre-paid Steam revenue) . However, there are no strings attached to those funds – they can develop for the Rift of the Playstation VR or whatever the developer thinks are the right target VR systems. Our hope is that by providing that funding that developers will be less likely to take on deals that require them to be exclusive.”
 
It is currently unknown how long Giant Cop will be a timed exclusive, nor do we have a firm release on other Oculus products, such as the Oculus Touch, the headsets controller. 
 

Quick Take

There is nothing illegal going on here, but it is certainly a bit underhanded in terms of business practices by Oculus. Having timed exclusive content gives them a leg up on the competition, and a game like Giant Cop, which already had some decent buzz going in, transferring over is a big get, especially after it was already Vive-demoed thus far.

Most of the developers on Giant Cop were confused by the situation as well, as the reddit threads show, but were quick to remind people that it is a timed exclusive, not a full-blown exclusive. That being said, the damage was done, a lot of customers feel that is a break in trust, and the countless amount of reddit posts show that feeling ten-fold. What will happen to Giant Cop is anyone’s guess now. 

More importantly, what will happen between Oculus and the other VR headsets? What do you think will happen? Leave your comments below. 


Robert Grosso

Staff Writer

A game playing, college teaching, erudite-minded scholar who happens to write some articles every so often. Have worked as a journalist, critic, educator and blogger for over five years now, with articles published (as user editorials) on Game Revolution and Giant Bomb as well as a contributor for the websites Angry Bananas and Blistered Thumbs. Now making TechRaptor my home.