EA won't be joining the virtual reality arena until the technology behind it can prove itself at market, and in order to do that it has to deal with theproblem, which is "very tough."
They are "clearly experimenting" with various VRs like Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus, but there's no install base to justify gearing towards it, though the devices are generally compatible.
CFO Blake Jorgensen recently told analysts at the 2014 UBS Global Technology Conference that EA wasn't currently pursuing virtual reality in any commercial way, but they're constantly watching it. "We're clearly experimenting with it today," Jorgensen said. "We've run some of our games on two or three of the different platforms that are being developed for virtual reality. Most of those are essentially plug and play into a PC or a game-style console."
"It's very exciting; the challenge is if you are at all even slightly motion sick prone, it's very tough," he added. "I've seen people within 30 seconds have to take the goggles off because ... it is so immersive. It's an incredible experience and I think there's a huge opportunity but there's some technology steps that have to be played out and I think so ways to make sure people enjoy it but don't get sick by it too quickly."
Unfortunately VR is held back by people being convinced a little too well that it's really happening around them that it disorientates and can trigger those who suffer motion sickness. EA is a software house, not hardware, so it's really down to the likes of Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus to solve the technical hitches. It also means EA would back a 'winning VR platform'.
"If a virtual reality platform takes off, either a standalone or as part of any of those other platforms, we'll be there to build games," continued Jorgensen. "If you look at our games, they're incredibly well set up for virtual reality because we create these big, immersive worlds that people essentially play in. And, obviously it would take more technology to make sure that we're taking advantage of that. Kind of like building a 3D movie versus a 2D movie; but we feel very confident that we'd be there and we're going to continue to test all of those."
The biggest hopefuls in the virtual reality market right now are, who counts former id Software's John Carmack among their number, and Sony's for the PlayStation.