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More video game-making talent is moving into full-time positions in the VR development.
Gears of War producer Tanya Watson and Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland have formed the studio Squanchtendo to produce virtual reality experiences. The company hasn’t announced any active projects, but it promises to bring together “edgy” comedy and “refined” gameplay to produce content for VR. While devices like the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Samsung Gear VR headsets are slowly building a market, analysts predict that virtual reality could turn into a $40 billion sector by 2020.
Watson previously worked at Epic Games. In addition to working on Gears of War, she also had development roles on Fortnite and Bulletstorm. She is bringing her game-making expertise to Squanchtendo. Roiland, who is a comedian, cartoonist, and writer, plans to establish the worlds, characters, and jokes for the startup’s games.
This also isn’t Roiland’s first move into VR. He is working with Adult Swim on Rick and Morty Simulator: Virtual Rick-ality for the HTC Vive. He also provided the voice for the android bartender in the excellent Vive shooter Hover Junkers.
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Squanchtendo is looking to get off the ground by bringing in some new hires. The company has opened up a careers page, and it is looking for designers, artists, programmers, and more to help it build its first experiences.
This is also the latest example of smaller companies and adventurous creators taking a risk on VR while major publishers like Take-Two Interactive wait to see how the industry shakes out. As VR grows into a viable market, it’s possible that people like Watson and Roiland could establish a position through experience and exposure that gives them an advantage over the biggest gaming companies that have millions of dollars to spend.
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