Got 33 x 33ft of Free Space? Space Pirate Arena is Coming to the Quest 2

by in General | Aug, 17th 2021

Virtual reality is constantly making strides, and while the Index is perfecting the controller and visuals of virtual reality, some developers for the Quest are changing the way that people play their games. One such developer is I-Illusions, the developer behind one of virtual reality’s first games, known as Space Pirate Trainer, which was a wave-based shooter in which the player stood on a floating platform and dodge lasers from incoming robots. While the game was considerably arcadey, the game was one of VR’s killer apps.

Now, I-Illusions is using what they’ve learned developing Space Pirate Trainer and moving it into a new form, known as Space Pirate Arena. However, while the multiplayer VR Shooter seems promising, there’s a bit of a catch, Literally.

Space Pirate Arena Needs a 33×33 Playspace to Launch

In a large Twitter thread, one of the developers of the game, Dirk Van Welden, mentioned that the game is going to come out soon for the Quest, but with a catch to how the game functions. Seeing that the intentions of the company is to make an experience like nothing ever seen before, Space Pirate Arena requires that players find a 10mx10m play space, which translates to 33ft by 33ft. This is also the reason that the game is going to launch only on the Quest 2: the bigger play space means that wired headsets are out of the question.

Attempting to play the game without the required length will cause the game to not boot, so players who want to check out the game are going to have to look for more space. According to Van Welder’s Twitter thread, “Similar to SPT, once you have played Arena the way it should be, you’ll be introduced to a whole new kind of experience, and it’ll just sell itself.”

While this seems like a kick in the face for players who don’t have that kind of room, many Quest users are willing to find somewhere where they can try the game out. However, this idea isn’t the first time that one-to-one movement in a VR title has been done.

Other Games Similar to Space Pirate Arena

The concept of a free roam VR games isn’t new, but it hasn’t been put onto personal headsets before. There are other companies who offer similar experiences for players, but these companies have players book their playtimes, and bringing their own headset isn’t something that can be done.

One such company is MassVR. MassVR is a company inside of Chicago that has an open 80ft x 80ft warehouse inside the Windy City. Player’s can go in and choose from two games developed by the in-house team. One of them is a first-person shooter by the name of VR Champions, and the other is a horror game called Hallow Realm, which has players taking control of either ghosts or ghost hunters.

Both games bring in full freedom of movement and are able to be played with up to 16 players. The game also includes multiple levels in the arena, and is done by having players use in gamer packs to jump, as well as letting players know if someone is in front of them or on a different floor in-game.

Another more worldwide company is Zero Latency VR, a global VR company with locations all around the world. They’re able to let players experience the same type of VR experience while still being able to roam freely around the world. However, Zero Latency is backed by a bigger company, as it’s the only free roam VR location that offers a fully immersive and original Far Cry VR game. While it’s not the open-world experience as the originals, It does tell its own Far Cry story in the setting of Far Cry 3.

Will Space Pirate Arena Outlast the Free Roam Locations?

With the release of Space Pirate Arena, many players think that free roam locations may go the way of the dodo. However, it’s possible that this could mean something completely different. The truth is, many players who want to try out Space Pirate Arena don’t have the space to play the game, and while they’re unable to find the space, free roam locations like Zero Latency, or Gyms might be willing to offer space to players who want to try out the game, albeit, these locations might be offering a fee to play. There’s a possibility that some of these free roam locations might be offering the game as something players can do, or hosting nights for the game with a “Bring your Own Quest” rule.

Regardless, I-Illusions is working hard to attempt to innovate the game with its titles, and while it may seem like the game is going to be held back by its play space requirement, it’s not going to stop players from finding a way to make it work.


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