Ubisoft today announced in a blogpost that a special arcade edition of their upcoming VR shooter Space Junkies has rolled out to “100+ arcades” around the world. To celebrate, Ubisoft is collaborating with the Virtual Athletics League to throw a Space Junkies International 2v2 Tournament, which starts this month.
The tournament will see over $4,500 worth of prizes given away to the top teams.
Teams, composed of two players, have until February 18th to join the try-outs and enter the tournament. Registered teams will face players from other arcades during the regular season from February the 19th to March 6th.
The remaining teams will face off in the play-offs starting on March 11th up until the Grand Finals on March 15th.
Ubisoft says more than 30 arcades have already confirmed they’re taking part in the tournament. Check out the full, updated list here.
Space Junkies Arcade is a separate version of the game, Virtual Athletics League admin Dallin Funk says, although it’s unclear what makes it different at this point. Ubisoft Montpellier says the full release is slated to happen “soon” on Oculus Rift and HTC Vive for home users.
We went hands-on with Space Junkies at E3 last year, and it’s proven to be a highly polished shooting experience reminiscent of zero-G version of Unreal Tournament. Its quick, comfortable gameplay seems pretty well-suited for arcades. If you want to see more, check out a full match in closed beta.
That said, it’s pretty unorthodox for a company to host a world-wide tournament for a game that hasn’t even been released yet, having only gone through a few closed betas in the past year. While it’s unclear why, one plausible explanation could be the studio is trying to generate hype to mitigate any chance of the title falling in the footsteps of the company’s other VR titles, Eagle Flight (2016), Werewolves Within (2016), and Star Trek: Bridge Crew (2017)—all of which have suffered from slumping online engagement after their initial launches.