Image courtesy Ramen VR

VR MMO ‘Zenith’ Releases Free-to-Play Mode Open Beta on Quest & PC VR

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The studio behind VR-exclusive MMORPG Zenith: The Last City (2022) Ramen VR announced earlier this month the game was soon being rebranded to Zenith: Nexus amid the launch of its free-to-play mode ‘Infinite Realms’, which the studio is using to bolster user engagement. An open beta of the mode is now live on Quest, Rift, and SteamVR headsets.

Update (February 19th, 2024): The studio announced the release of its free-to-play ‘Infinite Realms’ open beta over the weekend. Quest and Rift users can access the open beta without having without previously purchased a copy of ‘The Last City’ by following the links above and accepting the ToS.

SteamVR players can access the open beta as well, however must already own a copy of ‘Zenith: The Last City’ and then manually opting in. You can find a complete guide on how to join the open beta here.

Ramen VR calls the open beta “an early build, so the artwork, balancing, and content may be temporary. We’re stress testing the shards and the game’s performance so you may expect bugs and hitches.”

The original article announcing Infinite Realms and the game’s upcoming premium currency follows below:

Original Article (February 2nd, 2024): Nexus is set to host access to content from both The Last City as well as a newly announced free-to-play section, called Infinite Realms. This departs from the usual free-to-play retrofitting we’ve seen in other MMORPGs, such as OrbusVRwhich lets users play up to a certain level before introducing a paywall.

For users jumping into Zenith: Nexus for the first time, content from the open-world Last City part of the game will be available for purchase as an additional DLC, provided you don’t already own the game. The free-to-play Infinite Realms game mode will be a season-based, procedural action-adventure RPG with co-op sessions, a revamped locomotion system, redesigned social playground “and more,” the studio says in a blog post.

We’re still waiting on specifics and a release date for Infinite Realms, however Ramen VR says The Last City players will have “an exclusive opportunity to boost their first character in Infinite Realms to match the level of their The Last City character as well as the first paid cosmetic on the store for free.” The studio is also looking at ways to reward players for having grinded for items.

Following many free-to-play social VR platforms, such as Rec Room and Roblox, Zenith is also set to introduce a premium in-game currency, called ‘Zennies’, which the studio says will be used to access seasonal content as well as purchase cosmetics items.

“Going free to play will boost the social multiplayer experience. The new virtual currency and shop will open an avenue for revenue we never had before. With an arcade-like experience that’s more accessible than ever we’re inviting millions of new players to Zenith: Nexus and potentially The Last City too,” the studio says.

In 2019, Zenith successfully raised funds through Kickstarter, followed by a $10 million Series A funding round. Garnering further investor interest, the studio was able to land a $35 million Series B in March 2022, just two months after its launch on all major VR platforms. Despite early traction, the studio revealed last month that Zenith had been running at a loss on a month-to-month basis “for the better part of a year.”