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Sandbox VR, a leader in location-based virtual reality gaming, has launched Seekers of the Shard: Dragonfire.
The immersive adventure crafted by Sandbox VR’s own in-house game studio will be available at Sandbox VR locations.
Michael Hampden, former lead designer on the Assassin’s Creed franchise, directed the title alongside team members who have worked on hits like Far Cry 6, Cyberpunk 2077, The Witcher franchise and Battlefield 2142. Dragonfire was created to take full advantage of the bleeding-edge VR technology Sandbox VR has developed, making it the ultimate fully-immersive virtual reality experience.
“With each experience we create, our goal is to push ourselves to invent new ways to immerse players in virtual worlds,” said Steve Zhao, CEO of Sandbox VR, in a statement. “Dragonfire is the first Sandbox VR experience to feature branching storylines, meaning that guests can play the experience multiple times and have an entirely new adventure. This ups the stakes for players and we hope they’ll return again and again.”
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In Seekers of the Shard: Dragonfire, players are a band of adventurers who face off against a variety of enemies using swords, axes, bows, and magic. Players travel through a magical castle filled with intriguing characters and mysteries and explore areas like a ruined fortress, an underground river, a haunted tomb, and the dragon’s tower, all while proving their worthiness as Seekers of the Shard.
“It’s a unique challenge developing a fantasy IP for location-based VR. There’s a reason why there isn’t anything like Dragonfire available out there because so many features have to be designed from the ground up,” said Hampden, vice president of content and creative director of Sandbox VR, in a statement. “Melee Combat, magic weapons and spells, unlockable items, and choosing where to go next are just a few of the new features we have added to make this perhaps the deepest and most replayable location-based VR experience yet.”
Players can request a version of the game that removes graphic violence from the game, making it friendly for all types of players.
Sandbox VR is now operating in over 35 global locations and expanding rapidly. With a dozen locations launched in the last twelve months, each 5,000-plus square feet with at least four holodecks in which guests experience the virtual worlds, Sandbox VR is the fastest-growing location-based VR startup in the world. Sandbox VR is now selling nearly 100,000 tickets every month.
“We build it from the ground up for our platform, which is like a full-body multiplayer VR experience,” Zhao said in a recent interview with GamesBeat. “You fight dragons as you wield magic with your hand. You fight as wizards and barbarians.”
Seekers of the Shard: Dragonfire will be followed by the hotly anticipated Sandbox VR x Squid Game virtual reality experience, which is set to open late 2023. In it, players are transported to iconic Squid Game locations, where they become contestants in a variety of pulse-pounding challenges inspired by the Netflix series and compete against each other to be the last one standing.
Guests can now choose from any of seven exclusive immersive experiences created by Sandbox VR’s in-house team of video game industry veterans: Deadwood Valley, Deadwood Mansion, Curse of Davy Jones, Amber Sky 2088, Star Trek: Discovery, UFL: Unbound Fighting League and Seekers of the Shard: Dragonfire – The Ultimate Adventure.
Sandbox VR is headquartered in San Francisco, California with an office in Hong Kong. In its latest round, Sandbox VR raised over $37 million from investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund, Gobi Partners and Craft. Individual investors include Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, Kevin Durant and Will Smith. The company has more than 650 employees.
Zhao said players are more willing to come back to VR locations now that the pandemic has subsided, and they’re more willing to play with strangers as well.
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