Ramen VR, a new indie studio, launched a Kickstarter recently to help fund an ambitious new MMO called Zenith, a game currently being built for both VR and desktop users.

Update (September 11th, 2019): Zenith has officially topped over $200k, now boasting over $211,000. With 15 days left in the campaign, the studio has announced the completion of their latest stretch goal, which will introduce a new race to the game called ‘The Minkeo’. You can check out the latest updates to the Kickstarter here.

The original article announcing Zenith follows below:

Original Article (August 27th, 2019): At the time of this writing, the Kickstarter project has secured over $170,500, a far cry from the original $25,000 funding goal proposed when the project launched two weeks ago. There’s still 30 days left until the project comes to a close, with the next stretch goal coming at the $200,000 mark—the promise of more than one playable race at launch.

Zenith is said to head into Early Access sometime in August 2020.

Although the fledgling studio hasn’t publicly shown much in the way of gameplay, the team, which is made up of developers who previously worked on VR multiplayer shooter Conjure Strikehas managed to attract a fair bit of attention in the venture capital space for their efforts, having now secured additional Y Combinator funding of a reported $134,400, according to Crunch Base.

This puts the team’s overall funds to over $300,000 currently, which admittedly pales in comparison to standard MMOs built for PC, which can span into the tens of millions in development dollars. Very few VR games have had the luxury of those sorts of funds, so it will be interesting to see what the team can do on the shoestring budget, or if they’ll be able to attract more VC cash along the way.

Billed as a cyberpunk-themed MMO put into VR, the team says they’ve been inspired by a number of works of fiction including games like Final Fantasy, Chrono Trigger, Nier: Automata, anime like Sword Art Online and Castle in the Sky, and books such as Snow Crash, Ready Player One, and Rainbow’s End.

“These worlds were integral parts of our lives but it always felt like we were seeing those worlds through a small window. We’re building Zenith because we want to you to experience living in these worlds,” Ramen VR says.

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To bring the game to life, the studio is collaborating with Improbable, the makers behind the cloud platform SpatialOS. This, the studio says, will make it “much easier to build an MMORPG,” and that it will allow them to build a world with “real physics, complex AI, and a landscape that evolves and is shaped by players and NPCs alike.”

Since the studio was founded earlier this year, Ramen VR says they’ve already built seven prototypes of the game, and have been running user playtests with their Discord community for over a month.

Zenith is targeting release on Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest, HTC Vive, Valve Index, PSVR and desktop PC. The studio maintains all versions of the game will include cross-play.

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  • Master E

    Looks really interesting… on the radar

    Makes me wish someone would work on an Avatar the Last Airbender VR game.

    Perhaps put some effort into it and not ruin it like M Night Shyamalan ruined the movie.

    That series would make an amazing VR game SP, Coop, and also some great PVP

  • Xron

    Sry, this MMO is not for me.
    I like MMo’s, but this kind of game doesn’t give me a vibe of true one.

    • Igor Mattos

      why?

      • Xron

        Seems like a game from 10+ years ago… its 2019 now… Visual quality quite low. For Vr we need way higher quality for it to take on, even Orbus Vr looks better.

        • Raphael

          I agree. Let’s not keep going backwards with the VR graphics.

          Ugly animation as well in this case.

  • Peyton Lind

    I wonder if you can play as a man since the video only shows 4 women. Maybe they’re going to go super woke and just have females in the game. The modern day feminazis would love that.

    • Davpar

      The misogynists will hate that.

      • sfmike

        I’m not a misogynist but would rather have a choice of my sex.

  • david vincent

    A MMO as their first game ? With only $300.000 ? Well good luck with that.

  • Raz

    That’s not so great news. I thought that they would secure more venture capital.

  • Did anyone else notice that the wolf battle seemed very buggy? The wolves kept teleporting all over the place. The characters all appeared to be the same female model with some color changes to the hair and dead eyes. The set pieces looked nice, but there’s only 3 of them. There’s the city center, the boat, and the run-down path. There’s no town’s people, even in the concept art. How is adding more then one playable race a “Stretch Goal”, and not a basic necessity? Are two genders another “Stretch Goal”?

    I can’t help wondering if the real story here is how a game so early in development, with so little to show, managed to get so well funded so fast? The game studio’s last project “Conjure Strike” appears to have flopped on Steam, with just 2 reviews. It was a barebones multiplayer shooter with manageable, but very bland graphics. Just yesterday was a story about “Rise of the Titan”, and those guys failed to raise $30,000, but had so much more to show. What’s really going on here?