A new VR studio founded by a pair of Zynga veterans has emerged from stealth with some not-so-inconsequential funding. Called ForeVR, the studio recently revealed it’s also raised $1.5 million to build VR games for all ages. The news was first reported by Venture Beat.
ForeVR has successfully completed its first seed round, which includes Galaxy Interactive Fund, Twitch CEO Emmett Shear, Twitch co-founder Justin Kan, and Zynga founders Mark Pincus and Justin Waldron.
Founded by Marcus Segal and Mike Pagano Doom, previously of Zynga, the San Francisco and Los Angeles-based studio already has 10 people aboard its team. It’s mission: to translate “the most popular and classic IRL games into immersive virtual reality experiences where friends and families of all ages can connect and have fun,” the studio says on its website.
The studio is currently developing its first title, a VR bowling game called ForeVR Bowl, which is slated to land on the Oculus Store sometime in 2021. There’s still no word on which device it’s targeting specifically, but given its leadership’s enthusiasm for Quest 2, it’s likely to land on the Quest platform first.
“I love VR. And I’ve been waiting for the right time, which for me was when there is a device that everyone could access,” company co-founder and CEO Marcus Sega told Venture Beat. “And I think that the Oculus Quest 2 at just $300 blows this opportunity wide open. Bowling was really instrumental for the Wii, and we think that kind of game, where you could play with one hand, is exactly what VR needs. You pick up the ball and bowl. It’s a great place to start this accessibility revolution for VR. I was able to get my 81-year-old dad into it.”
Segal hopes to make VR games more accessible to multiple generations of users, something developers in the mobile gaming sphere has been particularly cognizant of since wider adoption of the smartphone.
“If you look at what Zynga did for web games, we were able to make games that the grandparents could play with their grandchildren,” Segal said. “And I really want to do that for VR, I want to make games where you can make a case that there will be a VR headset in every household. And the only way you do that is if you can make a game where the family could play it, like bowling.”
The Quest platform launched in 2019 with the original Oculus Quest, bringing with it a smattering of both long and short-format games. Many of the best rated and most rated Quest titles today fit into the casual ‘pick up and play’ gaming segment, so it’s possible a smart, well-built VR game like ForeVR Bowling could see some success if it nails the feel and fun of real bowling, albeit with the benefit of being able to socially distance in your own home.