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‘Moss’ Developer Polyarc Raises $9 Million to Expand into AR Development

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Polyarc, the game studio behind the hit VR title Moss (2018), announced today that is has raised $9 million to grow the studio’s expertise in augmented reality development in addition to virtual reality.

As an indie studio, Moss is so far Polyarc’s first and only VR title, but things must be going well for the studio as it has announced a $9 million Series B investment, which is atypical for indie game studios.

The investment round was led by Hiro Capital with participation from Vulcan Capital (an existing investor), and Galaxy Interactive via its Galaxy EOS VC Fund. The studio says it plans to use the capital to “add augmented reality to the studio’s core business competencies.”

“The thing we want people to remember about Polyarc in 40 years is our characters. Our means to make our characters the most memorable is to build a company oriented around introducing them directly to our players in person. VR, AR, and the spectrum in between, offer an opportunity to connect our players with our characters through physical interaction and emotional feedback in a way that no other medium can match,” said Tam Armstrong, CEO of Polyarc. “This round of funding was essential for us to expand our development focus to further embrace VR and AR games.”

Polyarc was founded in 2016 and launched Moss in 2018, first on PSVR, later on PC VR platforms, and most recently on Oculus Quest. The game has enjoyed consistently high reviews across all available platforms. In our most recent analysis of apps on the Quest storeMoss was the second best rated and the ninth most rated title overall.

Despite the game’s success, more than two years after its launch Polyarc still hasn’t announced plans for a sequel or continuation of the title. However they did expand the game with a free update in 2019.

Indie game studios with successful titles usually channel their revenue toward future projects and sometimes engage with publishers to secure funding for larger projects, but they don’t usually sell shares of their studio like you’d see from a startup.

That makes Polyarc’s investment announcement interesting, especially considering the stated focus on AR. While Moss has enjoyed success in the early VR market, the consumer AR games market is effectively non-existent by comparison as there is no consumer-available AR headset on the market. It’s possible that the studio wants to focus on smartphone-based AR, but that seems like a leap from their experience with immersive game development. We imagine there’s more to this story which hasn’t been revealed by Polyarc just yet.

Source: https://www.roadtovr.com/moss-polyarc-series-b-investment/

AR/VR

Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Tempestfall Announced for PC VR & Oculus Quest, Arrives 2021

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More and more franchises are making their way in the virtual reality (VR) space like Star Wars, The Walking Dead and Game Workshop’s Warhammer. The latter entered the field with Warhammer: Vermintide VR and The Horus Heresy: Betrayal at Calth, and now Carbon Studio has announced Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Tempestfall for next year.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Tempestfall

The Warhammer universe has a rich lore for Carbon Studio to take from with the synopsis detailing: “Set in the Age of Sigmar universe, Tempestfall begins following the Necroquake. From the domain of Nagash and across all the Realms, Nighthaunt forces are rising. A specially assembled retinue of Stormcast Eternals embarks on a quest to investigate a new threat to the Mortal Realms. Side by side with these elite soldiers, you must explore the dread-filled realm of Shyish and battle your way through the Nighthaunt in a quest to protect the Forces of Order from a sinister plot.”

With a brief teaser trailer showcasing a couple of locales and one enemy, the studio has said Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Tempestfall will mix melee combat with powerful, motion-based spellcasting, utilising the team’s experience developing The Wizards, which had gesture-based speels.

The world of Tempestfall will take players through cities, prisons, swamps and catacombs, an adventure full of Warhammer lore and secrets, reportedly over seven hours in length. Players will be faced with wraiths, revenants and other dangers in what could be Carbon Studio’s biggest project to date.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Tempestfall

You can wishlist Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Tempestfall over on Steam where there’s also a chance to win a T-shirt and poster, with 10 winners being selected.

This isn’t the only Warhammer videogame on the way as Pixel Toys previously unveiled Warhammer 40,000: Battle Sister for Oculus Quest, due before the end of the year.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Tempestfall is currently slated for a 2021 launch across PC VR headsets and the Oculus Quest platform. As further details including gameplay, visuals and launch date are released, VRFocus will let you know.

Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2020/10/warhammer-age-of-sigmar-tempestfall-announced-for-pc-vr-oculus-quest-arrives-2021/

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Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge to Include VR Short ‘Temple of Darkness’

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Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge is gearing up to be an exciting part of the series for fans of the franchise, dropping in new canonical adventures. As part of the experience, ILMxLAB has announced Temple of Darkness, a short sub-story featuring Master Yoda.

Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy's Edge

Temple of Darkness will take place during Star Wars’ The High Republic era, hundreds of years before the events of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. One of the stories Azumel bartender Seezelslak tells, you’re placed in the shoes of Jedi Padawan Ady Sun’Zee, who is studying at a remote Jedi research facility on Batuu.

A sudden surge of evil is released from a mysterious relic, poisoning the temple with Ady the sole survivor. Urgently contacting the Jedi Council the Padawan teams up with Jedi Master Yoda (voiced by Frank Oz) to confront the darkness lurking within.

Temple of Darkness in Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge will give Star Wars fans an opportunity to step into a story set during The High Republic era on an incredibly transportive platform,” said James Waugh, Vice President, Franchise Content & Strategy at Lucasfilm in a statement. “It will be one of the first tales released taking place in this bold, adventurous new era for Star Wars storytelling which we intend to see traverse multiple mediums over many years. We’re so proud of what so many incredibly talented authors, developers, licensing partners, and Lucasfilm colleagues, have crafted together — it has been a labour of love.”

Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy's Edge

“This powerful short story will transport fans back in time, hundreds of years before the Clone Wars. Through the power of virtual reality, they’ll get their first glimpse of Jedi life during The High Republic,” adds director Jose Perez III. “Everyone at ILMxLAB is thrilled to help usher in this new era of Star Wars storytelling, and I can’t wait for fans to encounter Jedi Master Yoda and Padawan Ady Sun’Zee on November 19th.”

Coming to the Oculus Quest platform on 19th November 2020 retailing for $24.99 USD, Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge will be a two-parter with the second scheduled for release in 2021. For further updates on the titles ahead of launch, keep reading VRFocus.

Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2020/10/star-wars-tales-from-the-galaxys-edge-to-include-vr-short-temple-of-darkness/

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You can now Request the PlayStation VR Camera Adaptor for PS5

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The PlayStation 5 is only a few weeks away from launch and virtual reality (VR) fans who’ve got their pre-orders in can now rest a little easier. Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) has released details as to how you can request the PlayStation Camera Adaptor so you can use PlayStation VR on the new console.

PlayStation VR

The process is straight forward enough. Simply go to the Camera Adaptor support website to put your request in. You’ll need the PlayStation VR serial number, which is found on the rear of the Processor Unit (seen above) and once that’s been entered you’ll need to give SIE address and contact details for shipping.

An FAQ page goes into greater detail, saying: “Anyone who owns a PS VR headset qualifies to receive a PlayStation Camera adaptor with a limit of one per household,” so make sure you don’t lose it. As for when they’ll be delivered it can take up to two weeks so get those requests in early.

Timing will vary depending on your region, here’s what SIE has listed currently:

  • Japan: End of October.
  • Americas: Mid-November.
  • Europe, Middle East, Africa, Australia, and New Zealand: Mid-November.
  • Asia: Early December. 

As VRFocus previously reported, if you happen to be in Japan then new PlayStation VR bundles will automatically come with the adaptor. At the time of writing, there’s been no mention of this option being deployed on a worldwide scale.

The PlayStation Camera Adaptor is an essential component if you want to use PlayStation VR with the PlayStation 5. The new HD Camera doesn’t support VR tracking so you have to use the current camera model. And as there’s no native connection on the new console, you’ll need the adaptor, now a crucial piece of kit for those looking to upgrade their gaming hardware.

SIE has already confirmed that thanks to backwards compatibility most PlayStation VR games will work on PlayStation 5. There’s only two that won’t, Crytek’s Robinson: The Journey and DWVR by Mad Triangles.

As for PlayStation VR 2, there have been a few patents hinting at what a new headset might be like but there’s been no official confirmation. Only that a new headset might appear once the new console has launched. For further updates, keep reading VRFocus.

Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2020/10/you-can-now-request-the-playstation-vr-camera-adaptor-for-ps5/

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