Virtual reality platform WEVR may not be as well-mentioned as more popular competitors as Sony’s Project Morpheus and Facebook’s Oculus Rift, but it’s certainly going places with a couple of new deals.
First up, HTC, a company already hard at work on its own Vive virtual reality headset, has opted to build its VR ecosystem with a nearly $10 million investment in WEVR, equating to a 15 percent stake in the company, according to TechCrunch. In return, HTC expects to see more content from the company for Vive, in the hopes of attracting a bigger potential audience.
This will also enable WEVR to offer more projects on an independent front, as its OnWEVR grant program awards various producers anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000, depending on what they’re working on.
This could also be beneficial on the HTC front, as the company has been struggling to keep up in business with its smartphone line.
HTC isn’t the only big name to be teaming up with WEVR. Lionsgate and Starbreeze have partnered with the virtual reality innovator to create a virtual reality game based on its hit action film John Wick, starring Keanu Reeves.
The report, from Global News Wire, indicates that the game will be a first-person shooter game, placing players in the shoes of Wick as he takes on various enemies, through an immersive virtual reality experience. The game will be centered on the Continental Hotel, a location that’s prominently used in the first film.
The game will be available this month as part of an HTC Vive World Tour that’s working its way through the United States and Europe. It will be a “teaser” experience, with the full game expected to be released for VR headsets sometime in early 2016.
“We’re thrilled to partner with the best of the best in VR and game development with Starbreeze, WEVR and Grab, who are collaborating with the movie’s producers to ensure an exciting, immersive and authentic virtual experience,” said Lionsgate President of Interactive Ventures & Games Peter Levin. “John Wick is the perfect cross-platform property to extend into the fast-growing gaming world, and we believe that a cutting edge VR game will deepen fan engagement and accelerate John Wick’s evolution into one of our next big action franchises.”
“Lionsgate is a leader in producing and delivering the kind of provocative, original and engaging storytelling that you need to launch an exhilarating and marketable game,” said Starbreeze CEO Bo Andersson Klint. “The John Wick characters and universe really resonated with our Payday fans last year when we first incorporated them into our game, so we’re thrilled to partner with the studio and the John Wick creative team to create a new standalone game enhanced by the state of the art in virtual reality.”
“Lionsgate has been a great partner on John Wick because the studio not only believes in traditional storytelling but also recognizes the value of extending its movies beyond the screen and involving fans in new ways to explore the characters and stories,” said producer and Thunder Road Pictures CEO Iwanyk. “Working with accomplished gaming companies like Starbreeze, WEVR and Grab is a terrific opportunity to bring the world of John Wick into an exciting new dimension.”
The game will tie in with the forthcoming release of John Wick 2, which should debut sometime later next year. Reeves has already confirmed he will return for the role.