The company, which also published A Fisherman's Tale, made the purchase for an undisclosed amount this week, fuelling speculation about the future of both companies.
It's been a big week for virtual reality (VR) industry news - great for those who write for VR news sites and even better for the fans.
First, we learned from CEO Peggy Johnson that a new AR headset from Magic Leap is expected to ship at the end of this year. Then, we learned that Oculus had launched App Lab, which allows developers to distribute unapproved Oculus Quest apps. Finally, QuestZDoom launched a Wolfenstein 3D VR port on their SideQuest launcher, satisfying everyone with a passing interest in classics 90s FPSs.
Now, we have some more big industry news coming in to top off the week, as Arizona Sunshine developer and A Fisherman's Tale publisher Vertigo Games appears to have acquired the location-based entertainment (LBE) firm SpringboardVR.
According to a press release published yesterday on Vertigo's website, the purchase wrapped up this week for an undisclosed amount. It clarifies that "Springboard VR staff [are] joining Vertigo Games for continuity of service while acquisition will offer operators access to free-roam VR content and new tools for operators and game studios":
Several key customer-facing members of the Springboard VR team will be joining Vertigo Games, which will ensure seamless service and operations for arcade operators and game studios around the world. The SpringboardVR brand and software platform will continue to operate under its current name but with the support and resources of the Vertigo Games team. This combination will provide operators with access to free-roam VR content via Vertigo’s HAZE VR distribution platform as well as giving both operators and game studios new tools to grow their LBE business. The roadmap for this new content and features will be released in the near future.
Vertigo Games will already be familiar with LBE, given that Arizona Sunshine - one of Vertigo's most popular VR games - is already with "perennial #1 most played title in VR arcades" and other Vertigo games "accounting for roughly 25% of minutes played in Western LBE venues." That's a lot of time chopping through a theme park in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, but I wish we knew how much of that was in the fantastic horde mode.
But obviously, in light of current events, many are speculating the sale has something to do with the fact that arcades have been massively impacted by COVID-19.
Meanwhile, SpringboardVR's founders and key senior members have moved on from the company to form "the core of a new company called ArborXR, which manages devices, content, and users in the enterprise VR ecosystem."
Director of Business Development John Coleman reaffirmed the Vertigo Games' commitment to LBE:
Vertigo Games continues to believe in the power of location-based virtual reality to drive the growth of the medium. We’ve had a great relationship with the SpringboardVR team over the past four years, and we are excited to pick up the responsibility to carry forward the vision of SpringboardVR. They’ve done a great job building the largest VR content marketplace for LBE, and we look forward to leading SpringboardVR into the future in this exciting phase of accelerating growth in VR.
Are you all caught up with the other big stories this week? For instance, did you see that PlayStation Plus makes Concrete Genie free this month, including a full size campaign in a charming virtual world as well as its fantastic PSVR modes!