The virtual reality (VR) industry has seen both economic success for some companies while others have failed due to lack of uptake. Hardlight VR has announced this week that it has fallen into the latter category, confirming it’ll be closing its doors this month because it has run out of cash.
Having completed a successful Kickstarter funding campaign in early 2017 which saw the company raise $147,574 USD, easily achieving its $80,000 goal, everything looked to be going well entering into partnerships with the likes of Vertigo Games and Source Team to support both Arizona Sunshine and Half-Life 2 VR respectively.
And this isn’t one of those tales where Kickstarter backers have been entirely left out of pocket and empty-handed either, with Hardlight VR’s Hardlight Suit shipping to most customers only last month – the Kickstarter page states 95 percent of suits had been shipped.
Yet the issue does just seem to be lack of adoption and the inability to raise further funding to keep things going. A statement on its Kickstarter page reads: “I have some sad news to share with the Hardlight community today: Hardlight VR will be closing down this month. We have been unable to raise additional operating funds, and so, after two years of operation, we have no options left to us but straightforward closure – we are simply out of money.”
Hardlight VR then goes into further detail on how the final costs of manufacturing stacked up, showcasing that Hardlight took over 138% of the actual funding total.
- $8,697 mandatory first-article manufacturing prototype
- $43,250 plastic injection molds
- $50,643 electronic parts and assembly
- $87,945 textiles, plastics and final assembly
- $22,183 shipping (still counting)
- Total cost: $212,718
So with official support now gone Hardlight Suit owners will no longer see additional videogame support. That doesn’t mean developers can’t still work with the device as the Hardlight software development kit (SDK) has been made publicly available via GitHub.
The consumer VR industry is still growing yet it seems not enough to support expensive haptic add-ons just yet. As further advances are made in the field of haptics VRFocus will keep you updated.