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Sword Art Online VR NEEDS to happen this decade

Level 9
Hey guys!
VR has gone so far in less than 10 years! Great hardware, great software, great games. BUT it's still not enough for "mainstream". There are lots of reasons for that, but I think the latest headsets have solved most issues. There's only ONE issue though, that still needs to be solved for mass appeal: VR needs its own franchise.
Oculus understands that. They tried with Luckey's Tale, and failed miserably (I love this game though, but it's clearly not the "Mario of VR" in terms of popularity) ; they tried with Echo:VR, but the brand is not that strong either.
Why doesn't it work out? Because nowadays, people don't want something new: they want something they know already. I mean, sure, new brands can get popular, but it's incredibly rare compared to established brands. It's a known marketing fact: a brand people already know and enjoy is a strong brand.

So what's the solution for VR? We can take the existing franchises, and that will be awesome for sure. But it's not enough: for most people, it would just be a sign that VR is a "gadget" that doesn't stand on its own.

So here is my solution to this problem. If things work out, 2020 will be the decade of VR. 2020 is also the decade in which happens the anime series Sword Art Online (which is about Virtual Reality, if you don't know it). It's an amazing coincidence, and in my opinion, the industry cannot afford to ignore it.

Now I'm not the biggest fan of this series. I love some parts of it, but the fact is it has some glaring writing issues... but it doesn't matter for this thread, lol. The fact is, SAO is one of the most popular anime series of the past decade, and it will still be strong in the 2020's. It is by far the most popular show about VR ever, and this decade is the perfect time to exploit it.
I mean, there was Matrix, and that would also be awesome in VR, but the fact is it wouldn't appeal to as many people as SAO today.

Also, Matrix games would need realistic graphics. Nothing wrong with that, but since SAO is an anime, the graphics for these games would be simple, hence: much easier to run on lower hardware, so it would be more accessible. Imagine a game like Breath Of the Wild (or more like Genshin Impact, since it's basically the anime version of BotW, lol): the graphics are simple, but beautiful, and that's perfect for VR.

Finally, SAO literally shows VR games. The developers would just have to base their work on what was shown in the series, their path for the next 15 years would be traced already:
1) develop Aincrad first : make all its floors with Boss fights, leveling system with various sword skills, and script the story into the game;
2) then develop ALO : great gameplay upgrade, with the addition of magic (activated with voice commands!) and flight system ; all that in a brand new map;
3) then develop GGO : the FPS version of this game ; it could become an e-sports game!
4) finally, they can also develop the Underworld.

That's four potential killer apps for VR. And even though the games in SAO are MMO, it doesn't need to irl: a story-driven game, with possibility of coop with a few friends (let's say max. 4 players), in an explorable world would be more than enough to appeal to the fanbase (except for GGO, that one needs to be a competitive multiplayer Battle Royale game, although it could have a campaign mode a la Battlefield). It would allow the fans to dive into their favourite world, it would allow others to discover this series in an amazing way, and the author would be able to expand his story (since he clearly wants to, as he's working on a longer version of his series).

Now I don't have any hopes that it happens, lol. But if someone at Oculus reads it: you HAVE to get in touch with the author and convince him to make true VR SAO games. Virtual Reality gaming needs a franchise on its own, and SAO would be perfect for it, as it's that show's decade and it's still strong today.

(If you think I'm just daydreaming... you're right! lol)
Hyped for the Quest 2!

My hopes for VR next gen:
- Full Body Tracking. Come on, Oculus!
- Eye tracking with foveated rendering. Must reduce the power needs!
- More big-scale games. I need a true VRMMORPG!
- Bigger community.

"If you don't mind, do you want me to take you there? Where dreams come true."

Volunteer Moderator
Volunteer Moderator

nighhman said:

Also, I don't think this is the place to request funding from people. Kickstarter would be the right avenue.

The forum doesn't have the same kind of processes in place to assure people of refunds over unmet goals for example,  that kickstarter has. Asking for developer time is ok but not funding.

I loved SAO but I am pretty sure you would have issues with copyright.

first of all I'm asking for donations(not funding), and It's a call to arms for people who love SAO and have developing skills. Second of all I submitted a request to "A-1 Pictures" asking for permission. Thirdly, it technically counts as a        non-profit.

Profit isn't the issue, Kickstarter caters for non-profit projects and charities, just as they do for profit oriented projects.

What kickstarter does is provide a level of assurance that the person or company receiving money is audited to some extent.

The forum doesn't do that.

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Level 12
I honestly admire your passion and wish you the best of luck getting permission. However some random person asking a company to use their IP for free? call me pessimistic but it isn't going to happen.

SAO is a pretty generic concept though game wise, it was just well delivered in the series. You could easily start something in the spirit of SAO. I think though, to do it justice, we need the hardware to be at a more immersive level. Quest 5 or 6 maybe. Wireless headsets with PC level graphics.

Secondly I mentioned non-profit because what you said below:

nighhman said

'I can not guarantee that I will be able to pay you, and I probably won't until we find a way to profit from the game.'