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Thirdverse is one of the companies that believes in virtual reality games as part of the path to the metaverse. And the Japanese company said it is happy with the first week of play for its free-to-play X8 VR multiplayer hero shooter since a big update.
The game launched in May on Meta App Lab and Steam. In its first week since major updates, players engaged in more than 27,000 matches and completed 327,000 rounds of five-versus-five shooter gameplay. I played the game before it launched and I was particularly bad at it. But it was a fast-action title where you had to work with your team to take down the enemies in an arena. I wasn’t very good at this.
X8 is a VR multiplayer hero shooter game that offers gamers customizable loadouts of weapons, armor, items, and abilities, allowing players to equip their heroes before the battle begins. With new features implemented and outstanding metrics attained in its first week, X8 continues to engage players and define the hero shooter genre.
Thirdverse said that X8 has received an overwhelmingly positive response from the gaming community. Impressively, 3,703 bombs have been defused. The top three most frequently chosen heroes in this period were Sarai, Jaguar, and Vesper, showcasing their popularity and unique abilities.
To enhance the X8 experience even further, Thirdverse has introduced a range of new features like an indicator above bom sites, ghosting removal, a new buy phase, and more. It has also fixed some bugs. Thirdverse plans to take the game to the Sony PlayStation VR 2.
Founded in 2020, Thirdverse has raised $40 million. It was a big move for Hironao Kunimitsu, CEO of Thirdverse, as he traded his top job at a mobile gaming company, Gumi, to pursue his dream of virtual reality and the metaverse.
Kunimitsu rose to prominence in the mobile gaming era and is now betting big on the metaverse. Thirdverse has developed virtual reality games such as Swords of Gargantua and Altair Breaker.
The idea behind the startup was to create a “third place” in addition to the home and workplace where people could play. He hopes this will eventually turn into the metaverse of worlds like Ready Player One and Sword Art Online.
He helped pioneer modern mobile games in Japan by starting Gumi in 2007. The Tokyo-based mobile game company published games such as Brave Frontier. As CEO, he took the company public in 2014. He cofounded Thirdverse in 2020, and he also started the Virtual Reality Fund, Gumi Cryptos Capital, and several VR incubators in Tokyo, Seoul, and Helsinki.
Kunimitsu did an online fireside chat with me at our GamesBeat Summit 2023 event (which you can view above). He acknowledges VR needs more of a user base now, but in three to four years he believes there will be a larger fan base. He thinks it will take years to build out the metaverse, but he thinks that free-to-play VR games will help pay for the long road ahead.
In our fireside chat, Kunimitsu told me he was encouraged by how much “metaverse natives,” or teenagers who will often play for one or two hours a day — seven days a week. They also don’t get sick while playing.
Evidently some of those people played this game this week.