As with any new entertainment hardware one of the main keys to success is the amount and quality of the content available for it. A product maybe fantastic but without something to watch or play on it nobody’s going to be interested in it. And the same goes for virtual reality (VR). When it re-emerged a few years ago some developers jumped at the chance to make software for it, knowing full well there was no guarantee of making any money from it. With the launch of Samsung Gear VR last year, and Oculus Rift and HTC Vive this year that prospect has become easier, but studios are still looking for investment to fund projects. One VR developer, Climax Studios doesn’t see that as an issue.
Climax Studios is the company behind successful VR titles Bandit Six and Bandit Six: Salvo for Gear VR, and the team has recently announced its next title for the platform, Gun Sight.
Raising funding for VR projects wasn’t necessarily easy a few years ago but with the industry growing at a rapid rate, more and more investment is being injected into software development. Talking to GamesIndustry.biz Climax Studios CEO Simon Gardner said: “Because the budgets and the scope of the games at the beginning of a platform are much smaller, you can enter that market with something competitive with a smaller investment. So it’s in our ability to either raise funding for those things or fund them ourselves in a way we couldn’t with AAA console games or [the AAA] mobile market. With VR and AR, it was a chance to enter a new market almost at the bottom step and hopefully grow with that market over time.
“The long and the short of it is there’s plenty of investment money out there at the moment where people are willing to put money into products and ideas in order to establish hardware platforms, and they’re willing to let us retain the IP on that, so it’s very low risk.”
Gardner is still hedging his bets on the future of VR, remaining positive but not quite going down the road of some in the industry who proclaim it to be the future of entertainment: “We’re still in the early stage of VR, and I’m not really expecting it to truly develop for another 18 months to two years. We’re still finding our feet at the moment, but I do believe there’s an enthusiasm for it, and it is in a way a stepping stone into AR and augmented reality, which I do believe is going to touch everyone’s lives. But all of these things won’t just be gaming platforms; they’ll be much, much wider than that. You’ll use VR and AR for much more things in your life than just gaming.”
Keep reading VRFocus as we continue to follow Climax Studios as it develops new VR content.