Halo: Spartan Assault developer goes all in on VR and AR entertainment

halo spartan assault vanguard games force field vr announcement  strike
Dutch developer Vanguard Games, best known for its work on Halo: Spartan Assault and Halo: Spartan Strike, announced Thursday that it has merged with virtual reality developer Force Field, and will pivot from mobile and console game development to work exclusively on virtual and augmented reality entertainment. The company claims that its 60-person staff makes it one the largest studios now working exclusively on VR/AR software.

“We kicked off in this new direction nearly a year ago through our partnership with Oculus and absolutely fell in love with the possibilities of this new platform,” Force Field CEO Arthur Houtman said. “We believe in the incredibly potent future of VR and AR and have made the bold decision to refocus our entire company. Based on our legacy, awesome talent, studio size and deep relationships with the platforms, we feel confident that Force Field is in a unique position to create high quality games, interactive entertainment and experiences in virtual reality.”

The studio said its first project will be an as-yet-unannounced VR game for the Oculus Rift. Though the studio was vague about the nature of the game in the announcement, the Force Field website describes the game as “a core action game with a tactical twist,” which is on track to launch in “late 2016.” Force Field said more details about the game will be announced later this year.

“Force Field has shown itself to be a talented team with the creative and technical skills to bring experiences to life,” Oculus Studios chief Jason Rubin said in a prepared statement. “VR opens the door to an incredible future of immersive entertainment. Its exciting to see established studios like Force Field jumping in with both feet.”

According to the website, the studio is also working on a “branded ride experience” for space travel company XCOR, and “a number of showcases” — read: tech demos — for a “leading” head-mounted augmented reality display.

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