HTC invests $5M in Steel Wool Games for VR push

September 1, 2016 | 11:52

Tags: #cher-wang #funding #htc-vive #investment #venture-capital

Companies: #htc #vive

A five-year-old start-up formed by former Pixar, Lucasfilm, and Telltale Games staffers, has announced that it has received $5 million in investment from HTC following the release of its first Vive-compatible title.

Steel Wool Games, founded in 2011, has confirmed that it has received $5 million - representing its entire Series A funding round - from HTC, after the company released action strategy title Quar: Battle for Gate 18 for HTC's Vive virtual reality headset. For Steel Wool it represented the first in what it claims is to be a series of VR projects across gaming, simulation, and 'narrative-based concepts,' following its previous work on two-dimensional platformer Flyhunter Origins for mobile devices. The first of these upcoming VR projects, an interactive simulation dubbed Mars Odyssey, is due to launch on September 9th.

'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,' claimed Cher Wang, HTC's chief executive officer, of the deal. '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.'

The investment is further evidence that HTC is going all-in as it attempts to turn the HTC Vive into the go-to virtual reality platform. Previously the company has launched an accelerator programme with a claimed $100 million backing and heads a VR-focused venture capital programme. These initiatives and investments, however, come at a time when HTC's traditional mobile computing business is suffering: financials posted back in May revealed a massive 64 percent drop in revenue for the quarter and an overall loss of £102 million.
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