Playstation VR 2: Well-known studio promises AAA games
Well-known and established VR game studio Cloudhead Games is working on several big "next gen" VR games and a mod expansion for the hit VR music game Pistol Whip.
After the British Ndreams, the Canadian VR traditional developer Cloudhead Games will also focus more on VR games with "more scope and depth" in the future: Cloudhead Games announced on the ninth studio birthday that it has several "next gen" games for virtual reality in the works.
According to the announcement, these will be "AAA" games, i.e. games that are backed by significantly higher budgets for development and advertising than Cloudhead Games' previous game projects.
The target platform for Cloudhead Games' new projects is basically almost only Playstation VR 2: The PC VR market has proven to be too small and thus financially unattractive for AAA projects. However, the studio could still serve it, even if it works with a PSVR 2 focus.
Meta, on the other hand, is focusing more on mass market, less elaborate VR games with Quest 2 and has largely sidelined the hardcore gamer target audience along with the PC VR market.
Cloudhead Games had AAA ambitions years ago - but failed in the niche PC VR market
Cloudhead Games launched one of the first major VR games with AAA ambition back in 2016 with its adventure series The Gallery. However, part 3 of the planned trilogy got put on hold after the first two episodes flopped financially.
"Without a VR mass market, we can't expect lavish AAA games from the big studios - it's too expensive and there just aren't enough players," Stevens summed up at the time. The Gallery was announced for Playstation VR, but has not yet been released.
In December 2020, Cloudhead developer Antony Stevens held out the prospect of his studio returning to The Gallery series, which ended on a cliffhanger in Episode 2.
"If VR reaches another tipping point towards the mainstream and big games like The Gallery become worthwhile, we'll look into it again," said the developer, who wrote the script for The Gallery, among other things.
At Cloudhead Labs, the studio also plans to experiment with VR and AR concepts that could shape the future of XR. Details and calls for proposals are to follow soon.
Mod update for Pistol Whip
Cloudhead Games may be highlighting its new AAA focus now, but there was already a lot of attention to detail and years of polish in the successful rhythm shooter Pistol Whip, which followed the Gallery flop: after launch in 2019, the studio followed up with 20 additional playable scenes, two short story campaigns, a style system, weekly challenges, and a party mode.
This speaks to the success of the stylish music game in the slipstream of the Beat Saber hype, which should help fund the projects now in the pipeline.
Fans of Pistol Whip will be pleased to know that official mod support is in the works. The craving of the community has been heard loud and clear, the studio explains. More and free content for Pistol Whip could appear through mods.
However, the playable scenarios are a lot more complex than in other VR rhythm games. Therefore, it takes time to develop accessible mod tools that anyone interested can tinker with. There is no date for the mod update yet.
Additionally, Cloudhead is currently creating the new Contracts feature for Pistol Whip, which will bring "time-sensitive missions" and new rewards.
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