Alcon Entertainment announced that the long awaited Blade Runner sequel had a new title – Blade Runner 2049, and if that wasn’t enough, we learned that fans will be able to get an immersive virtual reality experience through Oculus Rift. But honestly, that could ruin it, at least for me.
“We are so excited to be working with Alcon Interactive to bring the Blade Runner universe to the Oculus platform next year. Blade Runner has always pushed the boundaries of cinema, visionary art, design and story and bringing the sequel to this beloved sci-fi property to VR gives us an opportunity to push those boundaries further. We look forward to giving audiences a new way to experience this iconic title in an entirely new and reimagined way.” – Colum Slevin, Head of Experiences, Oculus
The Blade Runner 2049 VR Experience will be distributed exclusively on Oculus Rift platforms with the release of the film in October 2017. Outside of that, we don’t really have a lot of details. But the project is being headed up by Dan Offner, who is the interim head of Alcon’s new Interactive Division. Offner has a ton of interactive entertainment experience, having represented clients such as video game companies like THQ, Ubisoft, and Sony’s PlayStation Group. He is also an early stage investor and general counsel for Oculus. So he’s got his finger on the pulse of the project on a day to day basis.
But even though it looks like they have the right guy to run the show over there, with this whole virtual reality thing, well, I’m not so sure we shouldn’t be waiting a little while longer for something to come out that’s worth the experience. That’s because I honestly don’t think that VR is ready for prime time, especially with Oculus.
When the Rift came out, I had hopes that VR would finally be ready as a viable entertainment vehicle. But the down side is, that the resolution really isn’t all that great. Now granted, the last time I experienced Oculus was when they did a similar experience for Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. But the resolution of the series II development Rift headset was so bad, it was really worse than VHS, and then you toss in that you could see the pixels because you’re eyes are so close and it really turned me off on VR.
The Rift has improved sure, but it’s also overpriced, considering you not only need to pay for the pricey $600 headset, but also upgrade your computer to support it. And it isn’t supported on the Mac Platform. Added all up, and this is driving many to go towards the Samsung Gear VR, which relies on their Galaxy Mobile platform to act as the heart of the virtual reality experience. For under $100, it’s a far better buy for what is essentially an oddity experience at this point.
But if any film would make virtual reality look good, it would be Blade Runner 2049. I’d really like to be as excited as Colum Slevin is in that statement up there, but they have a long way to go with the technology before they sell me on it. Meanwhile, I can’t wait to see Harrison Ford reprise the role as Deckard in the film.
HT – /Film
Read the full press release below:
ALCON ENTERTAINMENT AND OCULUS PARTNER TO BRING BLADE RUNNER 2049 CONTENT TO VIRTUAL REALITY
LOS ANGELES, CA., OCTOBER 6, 2016—Alcon Entertainment has formed a new division of the company titled Alcon Interactive.
Alcon Interactive’s initial venture is a partnership with leading virtual reality company Oculus. As part of this partnership Oculus will make and distribute virtual reality (VR) Experiences based on Blade Runner 2049 starring Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling and directed by Denis Villeneuve. These VR Experiences will be exclusively distributed on the Oculus platform. The VR Experiences will be distributed around the October 2017 release of Blade Runner 2049.
Alcon Interactive underscores Alcon’s continuing diversification beyond its core business of financing and producing feature films, having also established in the past years Alcon Television Group, Alcon Management Enterprises and Alcon Sleeping Giant, a music publishing company.
Dan Offner will serve as Interim Head of Alcon Interactive and closed the Oculus deal with Alcon Entertainment’s COO, Scott Parish. Offner, a veteran corporate and entertainment lawyer, has represented numerous interactive entertainment companies including THQ, Ubisoft, and Sony’s PlayStation Group. He has also worked with Alcon’s Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove on past interactive entertainment projects. Most recently, Offner was an early stage investor in and general counsel of Oculus through its sale to Facebook before returning to private practice and angel investing.
Johnson and Kosove stated: “The formation of Alcon Interactive is the logical next step in Alcon’s continued growth. It is our goal to integrate and streamline as many aspects of our movie and television production process as is manageable, and we are eager to begin this journey with Oculus. The first Blade Runner created a new standard for science fiction films, world building and visual effects and we believe that our sequel will continue that tradition, pushing new boundaries in entertainment. We are excited for Oculus’s involvement and the opportunity to utilize VR to enhance the overall experience of our innovative film.”
“We are so excited to be working with Alcon Interactive to bring the Blade Runner universe to the Oculus platform next year,” said Colum Slevin, Head of Experiences, Oculus. “Blade Runner has always pushed the boundaries of cinema, visionary art, design and story and bringing the sequel to this beloved sci-fi property to VR gives us an opportunity to push those boundaries further. We look forward to giving audiences a new way to experience this iconic title in an entirely new and reimagined way.”