HBO’s Hit Show Breaking Bad is Back with a VR Experience!
Have you ever wished you could get a little closer to the heart-pounding action in Breaking Bad? If you have, you may soon get your chance! Don’t worry, you won’t actually be in danger from drug kingpins and gunfire, but you may soon be able to experience that adrenaline rush while staying safe in VR. The show’s creator Vince Gilligan and PlayStation are teaming up to bring this incredibly popular show to your living room—literally.
The Breaking Bad VR Experience
In case you’re not familiar with the cult favorite show, Breaking Bad tells the story of Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher who starts cooking meth with one of his students after he finds out he has cancer. While he starts the project to provide for his family in the event of his death, the operation quickly spirals out of the control, and Walter is quickly immersed in the high-stakes drug trade.
Most VR experiences up to this point have been formatted as games or an immersive sports experience, but this one looks to be different. Instead of creating a game revolving around the plot and characters of the show, the Breaking Bad VR experience is looking like it will be more focused on enhancing the experience of the show, rather than adding interactive elements to it. The experience is said to be “based on the show”, so even with the limited information available, it will probably not be simply a VR version of the show, but a supplemental entertainment experience. As of now, however, Sony is keeping pretty quiet about the project aside from announcing its development. Gilligan is being given a lot of leeway to develop the experience as he sees fit, and we probably won’t know much more until there’s a release timeframe.
Sony’s VR Aspirations
Shawn Layden, a Sony Global game development executive has hinted that this is only the beginning for the company’s involvement in the VR market:
“We have Hollywood luminaries and TV show runners, places like the Smithsonian and [NASA’s] Jet Propulsion Laboratory looking into what the technology can do for them.”
With all the interest that has recently emerged toward making VR more mainstream, it’s a smart move for Sony to push Playstation in that direction. This push has likely been inspired by Playstation’s desire to remain relevant and maintain brand status, all while keeping momentum alive and engaging employees with exciting developments. The success of Playstation Vue, a streaming service available on non-PlayStation devices has shown the company that expansion into media beyond gaming could be a good move for their bottom line. VR is the next logical frontier, and Playstation is entering the market at a good time, paving the way for more diverse and rich entertainment experiences in the future.
A Developing Partnership
Don’t break out your wallet for a new headset just yet. Sony has confirmed that the Breaking Bad VR experience won’t be dropping this year. However, they have done all the initial PR work, and fans are already getting very excited about the outcome of the partnership.
This partnership is just another signal that the VR market is maturing, and that there could be new opportunities for VR startups to get involved with popular media. Other TV shows or other media partnerships could allow these startups to expand their business and advance the VR market even further.
Because it’s likely to be the first VR experience of its kind, it’s still unclear as to how the Breaking Bad experience will hold up or be received by fans. However, due to the cult following the show has, it’s a good candidate for testing out a new VR and media format. Who knows? Maybe in 5 years, we’ll all be watching shows in VR.