Major Dutch makers of virtual reality games are merging

Vertigo Games belongs as creator of the popular game Arizona Sunshine to the world top in virtual reality games, games in which the user walks around in a virtual game world created by the computer through glasses with 360 degrees of vision. The acquisition of Force Field almost doubles the size of the company. Vertigo Games calls the purchase “a huge step towards building a global powerhouse in virtual reality.”

Unlike in the rest of the game world, there are few large game studios in the field of virtual reality. With the purchase, Vertigo shows its ambition to become one.

The 65 employees of Force Field bring Koch’s VR branch to 150 employees and thus on the level of major international game makers.

Force Field XR was part of the first wave of VR game makers to build serious VR games that were more than a small demonstration of the technology. Founded in 2015, the company made a name for itself on the virtual reality circuit with games like Landfall on Coaster Combat. They also collaborated on a version of the acclaimed game Star Trek: Bridge Crew.

In addition to games for VR headsets such as the Oculus Quest, Force Field also created various VR exhibitions on location and built historic VR setups for the Anne Frank House, among others.

Embracer Group did not disclose how much Koch Media and parent company Embracer Group paid for Force Field on Thursday.

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The virtual reality market is only slowly emerging. Out of an estimated total games revenue of 148 billion euros in 2020, according to market researcher Newzoo, only 688 million came from the sale of VR games to consumers.

Big games are scarce and headsets are expensive, and until recently they failed to deliver on the true promise of VR: to ‘just’ walk around in a virtual world without being tied to cables and cameras.

The arrival of the cordless Oculus Quest glasses is slowly changing that. 4.6 million copies of the Quest 2 would have been shipped in less than a year, market researcher Counterpoint estimated.

The most used VR headset is still the PlayStation VR from Sony PlayStation. It has been sold about 5 million times in recent years. That is still little compared to the big game consoles: Sony sold more than 100 million of the regular PlayStation 4.

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