Few genres in the videogame industry prove as time-consuming and addictive as the massively multiplayer online (MMO) title. That makes for an interesting combination with virtual reality (VR) technology, which doesn’t suit long use sessions in its current state. That isn’t stopping some developers looking to mix the two together for improved consumer hardware, however. Retro Ronin, formerly known as MEK Entertainment, is one such developer. This week sees the studio announce Voxelnauts, a new MMO that takes inspiration from classic sci-fi story, Ready Player One.
VR fans may have seen Voxelnauts teased under the MEK Entertainment name in the past but is this week revealed in full under an altered studio. Namely, the developer’s Jon Olick has been named as the studio’s first CEO as Mark Kern departs to work on his own agenda.
The title features full support for the Oculus Rift head-mounted display (HMD) and allows players to take part in a range of activities as they create a kingdom and face off against an enemy known as The Void. Little else is known about the Voxelnauts at this point in time, although the developer has teased that players will be able to create their own planets with their own lore that will exist in a ‘Voxhalla’ universe. The developer expects to have planet building kits ready for other studios by holiday 2015, with a full launch taking place before holiday 2016.
For that to happen, Voxelnauts will need to pass a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign, which the developer intends to launch on 17th May 2015. It’s not yet clear just how much the studio is looking to raise with the campaign, nor if Voxelnauts might support other HMDs.
The studio’s Jason Achinaco has also teased a unique business plan for the title, set to be revealed at a Kickstarter launch party. “We plan on using a virtual world to make the real world better,” Archinaco said. “And at the Kickstarter event party we will unveil a business model that we think can help make that happen. These are very exciting times!”
VRFocus will continue to follow the title closely, reporting back with any further updates on it.