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Virtual reality is already getting an esports tournament for one of its earliest competitive games.
Colopl announced today that it will hold a competitive event for its Cyberpong VR game this weekend that it will livestream to Twitch. The Japanese publisher plans to show players facing off against the game’s developer at Colopl NI in head-to-head to ball-swatting battles. The HTC Vive game is out now for $15, and the tournament begins at 5 p.m. Pacific time (8 p.m. Eastern) Sunday.
Analysts predict that VR could grow into a $40 billion business by 2020, but we’re still a long way from that. At this point, most VR games are selling to the relatively tiny audience that can afford an $800 HTC Vive or a $600 Oculus Rift. And while Oculus and its partner Samsung have 1 million people using its Gear VR headset for Galaxy smartphones, video is the most popular category on that device.
Colopl has jumped into VR with a fund to help developers who are jumping into the space, so it clearly sees potential for this market. For now, however, it is turning to esports to promote its products to today’s Vive audience.
“Cyberpong VR is the first VR game that supports real-time match-making, so we’re pleased to offer a new kind of competitive tournament experience within the VR space,” Colopl NI chief executive Jikhan Jung said. “It will be an exciting battle to the end, so we invite players to come join us to test their skills, as well as viewers to come watch the competitions as the future of VR eSports is here.”
This isn’t Colopl’s only VR game. The publisher also produced the Oculus Rift launch game VR Tennis Online. The studio is clearly focusing on multiplayer experiences, which is something that we’ve had a lot of fun with in releases like Hover Junkers.
You can catch the the Cyberpong VR tournament for yourself below once the event starts:
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