First Contact Entertainment, developers behind the tactical team shooter franchise Firewall, is shuttering the studio, citing the “lack of support for VR within the industry.”
Founded in 2016, First Contact has developed two of the PSVR platform’s most visible exclusives: Firewall Zero Hour (2018) and the recently released sequel Firewall Ultra (2023), which landed solely on PSVR 2.
In a Facebook post, the studio says the move to shut down the studio is based on the inability to recoup on development costs. Here’s the full post below:
“After almost 8 years of working with the most amazing team I’ve ever have the pleasure of being part of, I’m sad to announce that we will be closing our company First Contact Entertainment by the end of the year. The lack of support for VR within the industry has eventually taken its toll. As a AAA VR game developer, we are just not able to justify the expense needed gouging forward. We are a team of fearless innovators willing to push new technologies to its limits. I am extremely proud of the team and grateful to our investors, our partners and of course our community of dedicated and passionate players. It’s been a wild ride, Thankyou!”
Firewall Zero Hour was largely hailed as PSVR’s first ‘AAA’ team shooter, focusing mainly on search and destroy game mode which requires one team to defend a complex whilst the other attacks and hacks a set data point. Zero Hour did well on PSVR, garnering a Metacritic score of 79/100.
The franchise’s PSVR 2 exclusive follow-up Firewall Ultra fared less well, garnering a middling Metacritic score of 61/100, with many critics citing issues with the game’s control scheme and amount of gameplay variety.
While Firewall was undoubtedly the studio’s most central projects, First Contact also developed Solaris Offworld Combat (2021), a Quake-style multiplayer shooter that offered up cross-play between Quest, PSVR, and PC VR headsets. On the Quest platform, the game currently sports a user rating of [3.5/5] stars.
However you slice it, it appears the studio was mostly hanging its hopes on the widespread adoption of PSVR 2, which is still very much up in the air as the Quest standalone platform continues to outperform. To boot, Sony has largely stayed mum on what its next slew of games will be, leaving the platform without the critical mass of exclusives to not only potentially convert PS5 owners to the console’s latest VR headset, but keep them coming back for more. The exit of one of the platform’s most ardent, and likely best-funded supporters also doesn’t bode well.