Epic Games has no plans to develop its virtual reality demo Bullet Train into a full game, according to lead producer Tommy Jacob. The sci-fi shooter will instead remain a tech demo, Jacob said, proof of what the company can — and hopes to — achieve in VR.
When we spoke with Jacob about Bullet Train, he told us that the demo serves a significant purpose internally at Epic Games. Although the company has yet to produce a full virtual reality title, the success of Bullet Train with those who have been able to test it out has made a compelling case for VR development at the company.
"I think there's an obvious argument for the game side of Epic to embrace the VR and build something," Jacob said. Bullet Train plays no small part in that. He cited it as an exciting example of what Epic Games is capable of producing in VR.
At this year's Game Developers Conference, several designers from Epic Games corroborated Jacob's claim that Bullet Train's primary function is for internal use. "You're not going to see [Bullet Train] in the foreseeable future," Epic Games' Nick Donaldson said then. (The video below contains the demo's debut showing.)
Those that have played the VR experience, which has made public appearances at events like last year's Oculus Connect, have spoken highly of its bullet-time action and extreme violence, all in an immersive presentation. But Epic Games plans to continue iterating on the title as the studio works toward its first VR game.
"I don't think Epic has a game future that doesn't include VR," Jacob told Polygon. There aren't any full VR titles in development at Epic Games as of yet, however. The studio remained cagey in regards to when we can expect to see one.
For now, Epic Games splits its virtual reality focus between game development and the Unreal Engine VR editor, which developers can use to start building in VR. Other impressive VR demos by the studio, like Showdown, are available to download.
Find out more about how Epic Games sees virtual reality fitting into its future — and just what that future entails — in this month's cover story, focused exclusively on the veteran studio.