HTC has been continually striving to build its virtual reality (VR) business through various avenues since the launch of the Vive head-mounted display (HMD). Its launched initiatives such as Vive X, Viveport, the Viveport Developer Awards, Viveport M, Viveport Arcade and more. Today the company has revealed its latest venture, its own in-house software development team Vive Studios. Alongside the studio announcement, HTC has debuted its first title Arcade Saga.
Vive Studios will produce first-party content through internal developers, such as 2 Bears, as well as partner with external developers. For third-party studios that do enter into a partnership can turn to Vive Studios for development funding as well as publishing and marketing support on VR content. The new studio will create content across key categories for VR including videogames, education, cinematic, design, social, real-estate and sports, as well as tools and applications that can empower other areas such as media, retail, healthcare, and location-based entertainment centres and arcades.
“We’re excited to formally unveil Vive Studios as a new pillar in HTC’s initiative to drive persistent growth for VR,” said Joel Breton, VP of content at HTC Vive. “Vive Studios’ aim is to nurture and discover development talent and help create content that will continually push the boundaries of the kinds of experiences VR can deliver. The VR ecosystem needs a persistent flow of exciting experiences and AAA content that can help grow our audience. We’re excited to mark our launch with the debut of our first internally developed title ‘Arcade Saga’, a game that represents the kind of deeper and more challenging experience we believe VR enthusiasts are ready to embrace.”
Arcade Saga, the debut title from Vive Studios and 2 Bears Studio has been inspired by classic arcade games such as Breakout, Galaga and Arkanoid. Players find themselves taking on the role of an AI fighting threats developed by humans. Designed to enslave CPUs, these threats represent firewalls and viruses that manifest as three distinct challenges – Fracture, Smash, and Bowshot. Combining the physics and physicality of games such as pinball, table tennis and archery, Arcade Saga delivers more than 84 levels to master. Designed for all ages, with three difficulty modes that allow for family, casual and hardcore play, the title features an upgrade system to gain new weapons and abilities, and massive boss fights to overcome.
“Arcade Saga delivers exciting and deep VR game play painted with strokes from classic arcade games that people will instantly remember,” said J. Epps, Creative Director at 2 Bears Studios. “By combining an homage to familiar games with our backstory putting players in the role of a CPU fighting humans, Arcade Saga is the VR equivalent of not just walking through an arcade but getting inside the game.”
Arcade Saga launches on Steam for HTC Vive on 10th December, with Chinese customers able to access it through Viveport.
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