Valve shocked the gaming industry and the world last week by announcing Half-Life Alyx, a full-fledged VR game and the franchise’s official return since 2004’s Half-Life 2. It’s also releasing on 20 March 2020, which will be a full month before CD Projekt Red’s highly-anticipated Cyberpunk 2020 on 16 April 2020.
However, the Polish developer doesn’t feel intimidated at all. During the Q&A in a recent investor earnings call, an analyst asked CD Projekt Red if the company was “afraid that (Half-Life Alyx) may pull some of the gamers away from Cyberpunk due to the fact of being [a] highly anticipated release?”
CD Projekt Red senior vice president of business development Andrzej Nowakowski said:
“So, of course, we’ve seen the Half-Life PR announcement.
I think it was a surprise for everybody, but I think not in a way you are suggesting.
VR remains an extremely nichey niche of the market, like it’s very, very small.
That niche is very, very, very — and I could add a few verys here — small.
So from the market perspective, are we afraid? No, because it’s a very different niche.”
Not only is CD Projekt Red not afraid of the competition posed by Half-Life Alyx, they actually consider VR gaming as a whole to be too small and insignificant in the games industry, which is why Nowakowski also confirmed that the developer won’t be working on any VR-related projects for now.
While both Cyberpunk 2077 and Half-Life Alyx seemingly belong to the same genre (dystopian science fiction), Cyberpunk 2077 has the added advantage of releasing on conventional platforms, instead of the VR-exclusive Half-Life Alyx.
There’s no reason for CD Projekt Red to fear what is essentially a gimmick or tech fad (VR gaming), that will probably no longer be a key segment of the next gaming generation (Xbox Scarlett and PS5), like it was for this one (PS4’s PlayStation VR and the various PC peripherals).