John Carmack says VR is “coasting on novelty”


Not too long ago at Oculus’ Connect developers conference the company’s Chief Technology Officer and seasoned gaming industry veteran, John Carmack, gave a closing keynote speech that spoke to the current state of the VR gaming space and where he envisions the medium going. Being that Carmack is so knowledgeable on the subject of game development he had some biting criticisms in regards to a lot of the early development efforts for VR software, stating that “We are coasting on novelty, and the initial wonder of being something people have never seen before.”


VR has ample opportunity to both provide unique experiences and be exploited as a novelty.

Carmack went on further saying that himself and other VR developers “need to start judging [themselves], not on a curve, but in an absolutely sense.” By this he means that the praise of saying “It’s good for a VR game” isn’t a good standard to have and needs to be remedied as soon as possible and I support this thought 100%. VR is a dang near magical bit of technology that is extremely accessible to the general public and if a company starts producing quality titles for it the market will be turned on its head. We are on the brink of a gaming revolution with this tech and now us as gamers are waiting for the first company to drop a series of must-have games that utilizes VR in a way no other method of gaming can.

In explaining how to utilize VR to the fullest, Carmack states that the “future is mobile”. He says this because the mobile market has the largest install base of all gaming platforms and because most handheld devices work fantastically for entry-level VR. Carmack believes that the key to getting a large base of VR gamers is “not going to be a higher and higher bar for performance; it’s going to be a lower and lower bar for adoption.”


Devices like the Gear VR that utilize your smart phone will likely be many people’s entry point to VR.

I, for one, believe that when someone who has been as massively successful in the gaming industry as John Carmack gives you advice on how to make your games, you’d better listen well and take notes just to be safe. Personally, I haven’t been all-in on the VR wagon, but the way Carmack speaks makes me excited to see what comes out of the technology. A VR headset is slowly creeping its way up my list of gaming priorities.

You can listen to the full interview on Oculus’ twitch here.