New VR studio Elevation promises AAA games
Fracked developers want to keep creating great VR games. The new nDreams studio Elevation focuses entirely on AAA titles.
Hardly any developer for VR games has been able to grow as sustainably as nDreams recently. After the not-so-great adventure The Assembly from 2016, the studio's big productions surprised with increasingly coherent concepts.
In the VR sneaking game Phantom: Covert Ops from 2020, you paddle through the enemy base in a stealth kayak. Finally, the action-packed PSVR shooter Fracked offered a delightfully intuitive cover mechanic for the old Move controllers.
With the founding of its third studio, the company wants to continue on its chosen path. nDreams Studio Elevation is to explicitly take care of AAA titles and gaming experiences in the "core VR" area. It will be headed by longtime creative director Glenn Brace. He once had the idea for the unusual kayak sneak game.
nDreams Studio Elevation: Major projects for the VR market
Initially, work will be done entirely in the home office, with plans for a headquarters in the UK later on. The company from Farnborough in southern England is also very active outside its latest offspring: just last year, it founded the nDreams Studio Orbital. The studio is working on "year-long" playable live service titles for VR under the direction of Chris White.
Additionally, the company acts as a publisher and promoter of external studios. A prominent example of this is Purple Yonder's cozy VR build-up game Little Cities, published by nDreams.
More substance for future VR games?
The growth of the VR industry speaks to its expansion trajectory: the Meta Quest 2 may have set new sales records by the 2021 holiday shopping season, and the PlayStation VR2 is slowly coming into view as well. On the old PlayStation VR, however, Fracked did not become a big seller: The shooter did not make it in the top 10 of the most successful VR downloads in 2021.
Hopefully, nDreams will retain its creative streak, but give the concepts more meat. In recent games, the biggest potential for improvement has been in the small scope and sometimes bland attack patterns.
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