It’s not looking good for StarVR creator and VR publisher/developer, Starbreeze.
The Sweden-based company today announced that it had filed for ‘reconstruction’ with the Stockholm District Court. That’s basically Sweden’s way of filing for administration. In a press release, the company stated this was due to “a shortage of liquidity”, also confirming that CEO Bo Andersson was resigning from his post and the Board of Directors. Employees will continue to be paid during this period but “no payments can be made to suppliers for services or goods relating to the period prior to the date of filing for reconstruction.”
Starbreeze attributes a lot of these issues to the poor sales for Overkill’s The Walking Dead, a recent first-person shooter for PC and consoles that seemingly failed to find an audience. The company has since thrown out financial targets for Q4 2018 and 2020.
That said, it’s also a sign that the company’s extended efforts in VR in recent years have also come up short. In recent years Starbreeze published a John Wick VR game and integrated Oculus Rift and HTC Vive support into its multiplayer heist shooter, Payday 2. It also funded and published location-based VR experiences like The Raft and Ape-X which have gone on display at VR arcades like the newly-opened VR Park in a Dubai mall, which we visited earlier this year.
These location-based experiences also ran on StarVR, a headset Starbreeze itself created for arcades and other such installations. Starbreeze eventually span StarVR out into its own company and, back in 2017 Acer became its majority investor. This left Starbreeze with around a third of StarVR and freed the company of its “remaining capital commitment” of $7.5 million. StarVR One is now available to pre-order as a $3,200 developer kit.