Epic Games founder believes VR technology will “completely change the world”

Tuesday, 1st April 2014 16:28 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney is a big believer in virtual reality, which he feels will “completely change the world.”


Speaking with Polygon during GDC 2014 in March, Sweeney said Epic was investing heavily in researching VR.

“We’re doing a huge amount of research in VR, working with Oculus kits,” he said. “We see this as a technology that will influence every game and every platform.

“It’s technology that I think will completely change the world. I think It’s going to be a bigger phenomenon than smartphones. You have to put it in perspective and realize we’re in maybe the [first-generation] iPhone stage right now where you have this really cool device, but it has some real flaws that prevents it from being a pervasive device for everyone.

“There might be an audience for 10 million users of the current tech, but as it improves with each generation, the audience is going to keep growing until eventually you’re going to reach a critical point where you can put on one of these devices and have an experience that is effectively indistinguishable from reality.”

Epic revealed Couch Knights, its Unreal Engine 4 developed Oculus Rift title during GDC as a multiplayer game, where players control half of a battle set in a living room scene.



  1. Panthro

    I showed the Oculus Rift to my girlfriends dad (who doesn’t play games) a few months ago and he said to me ‘Once something like this comes out I will start playing games, controllers put me off’

    I imagine a lot of people think this way to.

    #1 9 months ago
  2. Panthro

    So maybe.

    And I bet VR will be used in areas other than gaming obviously, but just considering gaming this could open doors to gaming to a lot of people who don’t enjoy using the current input methods.

    #2 9 months ago
  3. fearmonkey

    VR being as pervasive as smart phones, I don’t think it will grow that far until the hardware greatly changes. I see what panthro sees though, that the tech will be used for alot more than gaming.

    What I wonder about is the long term hours of everyday use ramifications of VR, having a screen so close to your face for hours all the time probably isnt that good for the eyes.

    I also hope that VR doesnt mean I cant sit in a chair and with a controller. I dont always want to get up and walk around or stand while playing a game. The move controllers with Morpheus are nice but I wouldnt want that all the time. I want a VR experience like skyrim.

    #3 9 months ago
  4. Madlink

    @Panthro But apart head tracking (so viewpoint control) being handled by these VR headsets, won’t you still have to use the same old traditional input devices? I thought stuff like Oculus and Project Morpheus had been demonstrated with Move Controllers, Mouse and Keyboard, Xbox 360 controller etc?

    #4 9 months ago
  5. Panthro


    I showed him a video of it being demonstrated with the Razer Hydra.

    You can see why a non-gamer would get excited about something like this, even though there is STILL an input the control looks way more natural than when controlling a character with a gamepad or keyboard and mouse.

    #5 9 months ago
  6. deathm00n

    I work with Unity and this week my company began using the Oculus for our projects. We don’t make games, we make something we call “virtual experiences” or “virtual interactivity”. We create buildings (and others things) in 3D to make a preview what they will look like when finished. Until this week we relied only in beautiful and accurate creation of the projects, nothing was much virtual about it. Now we are perplex with the tech of the oculus, you don’t believe how easy it is to put it in you project (in unity at least), and the result is amazing, the users really feel like they are there looking at their new houses yet to be build. We were creating a warehouse yesterday and we were surprised how we could really feel the height of it, it was like really being in a gigantic warehouse. It’s hard to describe.

    I’m saying all this to show how oculus not only can be the future of gaming but also for other things. Sure it have the evolve a lot more, it should be smaller for instance. For me the nay sayers haven’t tried it yet to know how it feels.

    #6 9 months ago
  7. Dragon

    It will fail.
    Because I said so, without even trying VR once, by just looking at the thing using my sixth sense backed up with objective opinions.

    #7 9 months ago
  8. Dragon

    VR is a transformative tech, no doubt about that. Games will just be a small part of what such a tech can do.
    Simulators, research, all types of immerse entertainment and so on. Really, why bother going to a cinema hall when your personal VR offers much more immersion?
    Excited to see what future holds for VR.

    #8 9 months ago
  9. Ekona

    Did we not hear all this before, back in the ’90s? Yeah, really took off then too.

    I love new tech and gizmos as much as the next guy, but I cannot see a future for this at all.

    #9 9 months ago
  10. Dragon

    “Did we not hear all this before, back in the ’90s?”
    Oh man.

    Moore’s law-
    Moore’s law is the observation that, over the history of computing hardware, the number of transistors on integrated circuits doubles approximately every two years.

    #10 9 months ago
  11. Ekona

    @Dragon And? Does that not mean we should’ve had this tech about 18 years ago then? ;)

    #11 9 months ago
  12. Michael Ireland

    @Dragon I have used the technology. I can’t use it probably due to eyesight problems, much like I can’t us 3D.

    I listed half a dozen objective FACTS (that have nothing to do with my experience of the tech) to argue my OPINION on why it will fail. You’re not being smart by failing to understand what that mean – objective opinions are coming to a personal conclusion based on supportable evidence. That doesn’t make it fact. Nobody can tell the future. Take your passive aggressive bullshit somewhere else please.

    Where’s your proof that it *will* succeed? Trying to discredit my personality instead of actually discussing the topic only says you don’t have a critical opinion and have to resort to mockery to deflect supporting your argument.

    #12 9 months ago
  13. deathm00n

    @Ekona Comparing the VR now and the VR of back then is like comparing kinect with powerglove.

    #13 9 months ago
  14. polygem

    stay in your homes. buy from there and buy a lot.

    #14 9 months ago
  15. Panthro


    Bad example, I would say the Kinect is a step back from the Power Glove.

    #15 9 months ago
  16. Hcw87

    Dream-induced gaming is where it’s at in the future. Sort of like The Matrix.

    That’s the real future. I can never imagine seeing this take off except in smaller gaming communities. It’ll look ridiculous sitting there with a giant contraption on your swaying head. People even feel uncomfortable using Kinect because it weirds them out.

    #16 9 months ago
  17. Panthro


    Yeah I probably wouldn’t wear this around people either.

    Family and close friends I don’t give a shit what they think really, but anyone outside that circle will not have the pleasure of seeing me sway my face around like Stevie Wonder, I am far to cool for that.

    #17 9 months ago
  18. deathm00n

    I’ve tried it, I’ve liked it, I’ll buy it. If you don’t, I’m sorry, you will miss the most amazing tech in the last years regarding entertainment.

    But each to their own, I will say no more.

    #18 9 months ago
  19. Stardog

    It’s definitely the next step for gaming. There’s no doubt about it.

    Staring at a 16:9 windowed screen is beyond boring after trying Oculus Rift demos.

    #19 9 months ago
  20. lookingglass

    @Michael Ireland It’s not a real VR thread until Michael Ireland shows up.

    The biggest companies in technology and many of the most brilliant people in computing believe in the future of VR. They’re investing billions and they’re leaving their careers and the companies they’ve built to see VR realized in this best way possible.

    Your opinion is just that. And believe it or not, opinions can be wrong. The industry seems to think yours is.

    #20 9 months ago
  21. eathdemon

    the thing that will stop VR from taking off is the extreme system requirements. I have a i5 quad , and gtx770. I can run vr on medium.

    #21 9 months ago
  22. Michael Ireland

    @lookingglass Opinions are opinions.

    The industry chases dead ends all the time. You’re confident my opinion is wrong. I’m confident it isn’t. Only time will provide the answer.

    #22 9 months ago
  23. Dragon

    @Michael Ireland,
    “dozen objective FACTS”

    “A fact (derived from the Latin factum, see below) is something that has really occurred or is actually the case. The usual test for a statement of fact is verifiability, that is whether it can be proven to correspond to experience. Standard reference works are often used to check facts. Scientific facts are verified by repeatable experiments.”

    So, no. You haven’t provided a single one. Just hyperbole. Do you understand why no one takes your facts seriously? Because they are not.

    #23 9 months ago
  24. Dragon

    No. Should a child stop to try to walk since he failed in his first attempt, which is the case with everyone?

    #24 9 months ago
  25. Michael Ireland

    @Dragon Time will decide that if you’re right or wrong. I fully expect you to come with a dozen excuses when it fails.

    #25 9 months ago
  26. Mr Sparkle

    It’ll change the world when it’s not this clunky.

    Even 3D glasses are a hassle for a lot of people still.

    I agree that if it’s handled well and progresses from what it is right now, it will be fun and immersive and all….But make -a-relax a bit huh?

    #26 9 months ago
  27. polygem

    i highly recommend this book

    to all you facebook users and techno warriors.

    it can really open up an eye or too.

    #27 9 months ago
  28. polygem

    two, maybe even three

    #28 9 months ago
  29. polygem

    you and a few other future mods :) should learn to speak for themselves.
    “noone takes xyz seriously” is just a cheap tool to manipulate and well it´s just not true.
    it´s ugly to use these techniques all the time. very very ugly and superignorant.

    #29 9 months ago
  30. Dragon

    You still butthurt after months? Or do you really want someone to “”?
    Grow up, really. Your dog will be happy if you will.

    First of all, define fail.

    #30 9 months ago
  31. polygem

    i just wanted to point out that i take other posters seriously even if you say “noone” does.
    needed to be corrected, that´s all.

    #31 9 months ago
  32. Dragon

    No. You just want “ and” to continue.
    Funny you say others to ignore you, yet you follow their comments religiously.

    Do something about that hypocrisy.

    #32 9 months ago
  33. polygem

    trust me. that´s something i do not want to continue.

    #33 9 months ago
  34. Michael Ireland

    @polygem Trust me, Dragon isn’t going to become a mod. If they don’t actually start responding to feedback, I’m not going to bother either.

    #34 9 months ago
  35. Michael Ireland

    @polygem Thanks for the defence though. It’s appreciated. I know plenty of people take my opinion seriously. Random people on the internet with a grudge are par for the course on the internet. *shrugs*

    #35 9 months ago
  36. polygem

    @Michael Ireland


    some things just always always hit a nerve – but i think i´m making progress

    #36 9 months ago
  37. polygem

    @Michael Ireland
    you and og, plus one or two more would be great. drdamn or some other older posters who stopped posting actively would be great. cyber marco would be a good one as well i think. there are more…
    staff needs to care more about the community that´s for sure.
    alt accounts are still an issue.
    they can´t ask the community who they think would be a good mod before not fixing that issue :)
    it would turn out into a desaster.

    #37 9 months ago
  38. Michael Ireland

    @polygem Would vote Dr. Damn in a heartbeat if he was still around.

    #38 9 months ago
  39. DevilishSix

    @polygem I have been coming to this site for a long time. Read many articles and many comments, but I very rarely comment. What I will say is that you are often combative in your posts and very aggressive to other members comments. Qualities that do not work well for a moderator if that is you goal here.

    #39 9 months ago
  40. polygem

    oh no way. i would be a miserable mod!

    #40 9 months ago

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