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VR Digest: CCP shutters VR efforts;
Echo Arena free forever

The week's top VR news brought to you
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VR Digest: A VR newsletter brought to you by Studio Transcendent
written by John Dewar (@jstarrdewar) Issue 144 – November 2, 2017

VR Digest: A Virtual Reality newsletter brought to you by Studio Transcendent

CCP Games Shutters VR Efforts

In a depressing development, Icelandic developer CCP Games is disbanding its VR teams, which created polished VR launch titles Eve: Valkyrie and Eve: Gunjack and recently launched e-sports dodgeball title Sparc on PS4. The company says it is still bullish on VR and plans to revisit VR development in “a few” years. Yet this sends a strong signal to other top-tier developers that it’s too early to make a profit in the VR marketplace. Eve: Valkyrie will continue to be supported and Sparc will still get its multi-platform rollout according to forum posts.
 

Bits

Best Buy’s Insignia brand is offering a cool looking $30 charging dock for Oculus Touch.

Sony unveiled new titles coming to PSVR at Paris Games Week, with the standout being a mixed reality trailer for Blood & Truth, a full-length follow up for the excellent London Heist demo (with all new characters and story). A new trailer for Ace Combat 7 also shows VR gameplay.

Google Poly is a new 3D model-sharing service, very much in the vein of established competitor Sketchfab. It will serve as a model repository for Blocks and Tiltbrush (which already offered Sketchfab export support). There are two differentiating features on offer: a library of thousands of free low-poly models from Google, and an automatic attribution-tracking licensing system to encourage reuse and remixing of assets within the community.

For the last three months, Intel has sponsored Ready at Dawn’s Echo Arena title, keeping it free on the Oculus Store and setting up an e-sports championship for its players. Today Intel’s sponsorship has ended so Ready at Dawn was planning to start charging for the game. Oculus, recognizing that Echo Arena is one of the healthiest player communities on their platform, decided it made strategic sense to simply keep funding the game, making it free forever.

ILMxLab announced Star Wars: Droid Repair Bay — Astro-Mechanic for the Resistance, a promotional experience that will be available in some form on Gear VR and also as a Vive installation in North American Nissan dealerships.

Microsoft threw its hat in with the Khronos Group’s OpenXR standard. An article from Road to VR this week shed light on why that could be strategically important for Oculus and Valve: it makes it less likely that they’ll be locked out of Windows.

VR Digest™ is a Virtual Reality Newsletter brought to you by Studio Transcendent, a producer of premium Virtual Reality experiences. We publish weekly on Thursdays.

 
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