August 31, 2016

Steel Wool

It wouldn’t be out of the question to say that HTC has gone all out in the virtual reality space this year. Since the company devoted $100 million to its Vive X developer acceleration program a few months ago, hundreds of new games and applications have been developed taking advantage of the Taiwanese company’s platform. With thousands of headsets sold within just months of initial release, it is evident that the company’s venture has been a massive success.

HTC isn’t hitting the brakes on its investments, however. Today, the company announced that it has just finished its series A investment round in the VR-centric Steel Wool Studios. Comprised of a number of ex-Pixar employees, the studio specializes on immersive storytelling and state of the art animation. Though the company initially began creating mobile games, they decided to pivot to virtual reality almost directly they visited Valve back in 2014. With some incredible software out in the wild already, it’s no wonder HTC is investing in the studio.

HTC CEO Cher Wang had this to say about the company:

The Steel Wool Studios team carries an impressive pedigree of creative talent that has already proven its ability to build cutting-edge content for the nascent VR category. Taking a look at Mars Odyssey and Steel Wool’s other projects under development, it’s immediately clear that this studio will drive VR adoption with great content that balances amazing visual fidelity with strong storytelling.

Virtual reality seems to be the perfect platform for the ex-animators. The technology creates a new foundation of immersion that can’t be expressed in any other medium, and the company has found fruition in the craft after releasing their first title alongside the headset this April. Quar: Battle for Gate 18 was the company’s first action strategy title in VR, and has given them the passion to keep going with the medium.

After earning our stripes with Quar, we went all-in on creating content for VR, a medium we’ve been waiting for our whole lives.

says Steel Wool co-founder Andrew Dayton.

Since then, Steel Wool have announced the new title Mars Odyssey, which it is planning to launch on Steam on September 8th. The title takes players on an immersive ride though the Mars surface, and should be an awesome experience for anyone looking to see what it’s like to explore the red planet.

The company has also announced another unnamed  title for the future, so it is evident that there is a lot of potential coming from the small company.

Are you interested in trying any of the company’s titles? Hopefully HTC’s massive investment will allow the studio to produce even more incredible content for years to come.

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