Zenith: VR MMORPG sees meteoric rise
The VR MMO Zenith: The Last City has made a phenomenal start. And that is supposed to be just the beginning for the US studio.
Less than two months after launch, Zenith is already one of the most successful VR games. On the Quest platform, it ranks among the twenty most popular premium titles in terms of number of ratings, and when it appeared on Steam, it briefly conquered large 2D titles from the top spot on the sales charts. The rush overwhelmed the servers and led to long queues.
Now, the studio responsible, Ramen VR, is delivering more success stories. According to The Information, Zenith already recouped its development costs in the first week of sales and has gained "several hundred thousand players" since its launch.
The title's Discord server alone has 125,000 users. Fans spend an average of just under two hours per day in Zenith - that's a lot by VR standards.
Large investment in Ramen VR
Those numbers impressed investors, and now Ramen VR has secured another $35 million in funding. The Series B round follows a Series A investment from September 2021 that brought the US studio $10 million.
For the second major funding round, existing investors Anthos and Dune stepped up. Andreessen Horowitz partners Andrew Chen and James Gwertzman joined as new investors.
The new funding will go towards doubling the studio staff. The priority now is to provide the MMO with more end-game content. After all, many thousands of fans need to be kept in line. The roadmap for 2022 also includes a new class, player dwellings and new professions.
Zenith: Coming soon to PC and smartphones?
"The reception for Zenith has been amazing. We're already profitable but now we want to take the game to the next level, building massive interconnected gaming worlds for all to explore," said Andy Tsen, co-founder and CEO of Ramen VR.
That sounds like a metaverse pitch, but Tsen means something else: The VR game is intended to become a "super app" that incorporates various other genres and gaming experiences alongside its role-playing core.
"We don't have ambitions to be the next Meta or dominate the space in that regard. We really want to focus on the gaming aspect," Tsen tells The Information, raising the prospect of expansion to 2D platforms.
"With a funding round of this size, what investors want to see is that instead of doing something in the next five years, maybe you can do it in two—so I would confirm that it has accelerated our roadmap to move to desktop and mobile."
Zenith: The Last City is available for Meta Quest 2, for Playstation VR, and on Steam for PC VR-enabled VR glasses.