We often see successful VR games played at home make their way to arcades. After-H, however, is doing things the other way around.
This competitive first-person shooter, developed by French team smartVR first launched in arcades. This month, however, it’s coming to Steam Early Access with support for the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. It’s the latest shot at combining VR and esports, with 4 vs 4 matches offering three different gameplay modes.
A Free VR FPS
The game’s set in the far-flung future, where factions of soldiers fight it out for what’s left of natural resources. Matches play out on alien planets where futuristic soldiers hunt each other down. smartVR tells UploadVR that the game will be “100% free.”
Not only that but the home release will feature full cross-play with arcades.
“We want to bring players together as much as possible so the players who don’t have a VR headset at home will be able to go to an arcade, connect to their profile and play with their friends online,” CEO Jean Mariotte told me. “We also want the owners of a VR headset to go to an arcade and play physically with their friends if they want to.”
New to the home version is user-made profiles and an experience point system. There’s even going to be a smartphone app you can bring to arcades to keep your profile when playing away from home.
Giving all of this away from free is a surprising move, but Mariotte insists smartVR has no plans to profit from the home release. “The rationale behind this business model decision is to facilitate the game access to the maximum amount of gamers,” he said. “We’ve noticed that all the other VR FPS are premium and even a price tag as low as $10 can prevent a large adoption. Our offer is a totally free high quality VR FPS.”
If you want an early look at the game you can sign up for a discovery event taking place next week. In the US it runs from September 18, 7pm -11pm PST and you can sign up here. In Europe is takes place on September 19, 9pm -1am Paris time and you need to apply here. Creating an account for the game before 23:59 GMT + 1 September 19 will net you an exclusive Pioneer character skin unlocked early next year.
After-H will arrive on September 23rd.