ARVORE, the studio behind the Pixel Ripped VR game franchise, announced it’s currently developing a VR soccer game called PAWBALL, which aims to get you leaping around and scoring goals like only a feline can.

On the studio’s Discord (invite link), Arvore Community Manager Freddy Pavão reveals the idea initially came from wanting dinosaurs to play soccer, although the team eventually settled on cats, which can move around in interesting and dynamic ways.

“With the change to our feline friends, the main idea for the game (and all the prototypes that came after) got a whole new range of possibilities,” Pavão says. “The game is still about soccer, but now using verticality, as the cats can jump super high, climb, hit the ball in aerial attacks, and so on. It is by far our game with the most possibilities for gameplay diversity, as players can do basically whatever they want to hit the ball and score a goal.”

Developer Ana Ribeiro shows off a peek at an early build:

Like many free-to-play games, the studio says it will be providing cosmetic upgrades. Granted, it’s still early days, however hopeful testers could also soon get their chance with early builds, which the studio says it will provide without the need of a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) like many studios tend to do with still-in-development betas. That could arrive as early as June, Arvore says.

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There’s no indication yet on what platforms the game is targeting either, however you can bet the free-to-play game will be searching for the widest possible distribution in hopes of replicating the sort of viral success of an obvious analogue, Gorilla Tag.

The primate-focused game of tag reported early last year it had garnered $26 million in revenue since its 2021 launch. That’s a tall order to fill, although if a pretty simple game of immersive tag can do it, maybe cats playing soccer can too?

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Isn’t this similar to space ball?

  • Octogod

    Not a fan of the Discord link to early access news coming in daily. Or the reporting of them over actual game announcements or releases.

  • Dragon Marble

    Don’t underestimate it. Good VR mechanics seems to outsell good graphics/story time and time again — and that’s not just on Quest.

    • ViRGiN

      Kinda true. Never in my wildest dream I expected Beat Saber to be the killer app for (PC)VR. Probably one of the worst VR use cases; nobody dreamed about slashing cubes with music before VR became a real consumer product.
      Neither I saw the success of Gorilla Tag, once again smash hit even for PCVR. It has even about 50% more players than Beat Saber, BS isn’t the undisputed PCVR king anymore.

      I can see BS taking off thanks to mods – suddenly people could jam to their own favorite music rather than having an access to ~20 “crappy” songs and waiting months for expensive DLCs.

      Gorilla Tag I assume took off primarily due to (imo shitty) movement mechanics, and some viral hype puting all children with all children. In my online vr experience, in the games I play adults are still majority of players.

    • david vincent

      Yes as always in video games, I would say

  • Me

    Soccer? This looks more like volley-ball.