Exclusives never rub you the right way. Originally, you just had to worry about having the right console, but for VR enthusiasts, having the “correct” headset is fast becoming an issue too. No game better reflects this than SUPERHOT, which has seen its Steam review score plummet as players show their disdain for its Oculus Rift exclusivity.
Steam reviews are certainly not the be-all, end-all of video game criticism, but when your title drops into “Mixed” territory, it impacts both your reputation and bottom line. Overall SUPERHOT is cruising along at 86 per cent, but its recent score of 62 per cent tells a different story.
Reading the reviews, the issue isn’t entirely a SUPERHOT thing, more a revolt against VR exclusives in general. Take this critique from one player:
With Vitual Rreality [sic] being new tech, the developers of Superhot have decided to make it playable only on Oculus VR headsets thanks to their greed. This is the equivalent of having a company who makes monitors having exclusive games that only play on THEIR monitors and developers agreeing to play along with this terrible scheme.
The majority of recent reviews are in the same vein.
A Reddit Q&A on the game’s VR integration did however provide some insight:
Looking at the general sentiment of our current favorite flamewar, I kinda got the impression most people were angry in thinking that we partnered up with Oculus out of some weird, twisted sense of greed.
So what we gunned for here was to put things into perspective – not only have we been working super close with Oculus since before we were a legitimate studio (and before the internet arbitrarily elected them supervillian of the month 🙂 ), but we also wouldn’t even be making SUPERHOT VR at the design level we’re doing now if it weren’t for that partnering up.
Further reading of that thread suggests it was the technical benefits of the platform and Oculus’ support that were the deciding factor. It’s also mentioned that the exclusivity may not be permanent:
We’ll circle back to other platforms shortly after the initial release. It’s likely not even going to be a very long wait. We’ll see what’s the demand for that, but given that we’re not the most likely bunch of gamedevs to compromise on design quality, I’d be surprised if we make a version with a gamepad instead of hand tracking controllers. 🙂
Unfortunately, as far as the game’s Steam reviews are concerned, the damage has been done.