As part of Starbreeze’s newly published half-year report, 1st April – 30th June 2016, the company has detailed the company’s virtual reality (VR) initiatives. A number of previously announced partnerships and investments are highlighted, while CEO Bo Andersson Klint discusses the reasoning behind this expansion.
At the film festival in Cannes, Starbreeze announced its first internally produced cinematic VR experience, Cockatoo Spritz, directed by Stephane Barbato. Cockatoo Spritz is a VR experience designed to inspire creative filmmakers to create VR content. In connection with the Cannes Film Festival, Starbreeze and Acer signed a letter of intent to form a joint venture for the StarVR head-mounted display (HMD). The two companies aim to cooperate on the design, manufacturing, promotion, marketing and sales of the StarVR HMD to the professional- and location-based entertainment market.
At the same time, Starbreeze revealed that IMAX had chosen StarVR for its investment in location-based VR. Both parties have signed a letter of intent to form a joint venture with the intention of creating a concept for location-based VR experiences under the IMAX brand. The companies will be equal partners under the agreement, and if the project is successful, the intention is to roll out the concept globally.
Starbreeze and Smilegate will form a joint venture for a VR content distribution platform for the StarVR HMD. In June, Starbreeze announced its acquisition of the French toys-to-life, VR and AR technology company ePawn. With ePawn Starbreeze significantly diversifies its VR and toys-to-life offering. Starbreeze claims great opportunities in combining VR- and AR gaming experiences with ePawn’s game boards and carpets.
“Last quarter we proudly noted the first step on our path of building the next generation digital studio and immersing ourselves into VR with our Acer collaboration. Shortly after the last quarterly report, we reached two more significant agreements; one with IMAX for our location-based VR initiative and one with Smilegate for a content distribution system especially tailored for VR. All initiatives are set up as joint ventures and our StarVR headset is the crown jewel connecting the dots,” stated CEO Bo Andersson Klint in the statement. “The acquisition of the French technology company ePawn neatly adds another dimension to our ecosystem as well and diversifies both our toys-to-life and VR offerings. We can’t wait to put the technology to use in our VR centers and elsewhere in the future.”
In terms of VR videogames, Starbreeze has revealed two current projects: OVERKILL’s The Walking Dead and John Wick. The former is in development for StarVR only, while the latter is coming to the HTC Vive. The StarVR HMD began shipping to IMAX last week, and VRFocus will keep you updated with all the latest details on Starbreeze’s VR initiatives.