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Sólfar Secures $2.1M to Recreate Everest in VR and Get You to Climb it

Icelandic developer Sólfar Studios have announced that their quest to bring one of the world’s greatest natural wonders, Mount Everest, to virtual reality just got a significant boost. They’ve announced received over $2M in seed funding to bring their mountaineering expedition VR experience.

 

There’s significant potential in new markets made possible by the imminent arrival of consumer virtual reality. VR tourism is one area that’s a fairly easy idea to sell, even to those initiated in the ways of immersive entertainment; see the wonderful sights of the world, without having to deal with airports and foreigners! But VR promises to delivery experiences beyond sight-seeing and beach-dwelling, delivering the possibility to send people on adventures they’d never have contemplated attempting in reality.

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Sólfar Studios is planning to deliver exactly that type of experience and it’s going to use one of the world’s most magnificent natural wonders as a virtual stage. ‘Everest VR’ is an experience that lets you experience an authentic expedition to Mount Everest, from preparing for your expedition at Basecamp, you will traverse the Khumbu Icefalls, scale Lhotse Face, ascend the Hillary Step, and finally conquer the summit of Everest. “If you learn to respect the mountain, you may even survive the encounter. You will leave the experience feeling like you were there.” says the press release. Sólfar are teaming up with RVX, Nordic’s leading visual effects and animation house, to deliver the experience to VR headsets next year.

“In forming this VR expeditionary force with RVX, our mission is to construct the definitive experience of what it feels like to climb Mount Everest, an epic feat that most will never attempt in the real world,” said Kjartan Pierre Emilsson CEO and co-founder at Sólfar. “By combining incomparable visual fidelity with real player agency and interactivity, EVEREST VR will immerse you in a virtual reality that feels both real and emotionally stunning.”

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Now, Sólfar have announced a significant injection of funds from investors to help the developer bring their idea to life. $2.1M in seed funding has been provided by a group of investors gathered from across the Nordics and Asia. The seed round syndicate includes Shanda Group, Tianqiao Chen’s private investment group, Iceland´s NSA Ventures, and Finnish VCs Inventure and Reaktor Ventures along with individual investors from the company´s previous angel round.

“We see virtual reality as the new medium to bring fully immersive alternative worlds to the mass population, and high quality, breath-taking content created by innovative studios like Sólfar provides entry to those worlds,” said Tianqiao Chen, founder, Chairman and CEO at Shanda Group.”

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The developer is using Unreal Engine 4 to realise the project and judging by the visuals on display in their recently released teaser trailer, the realism the team have achieved is quite something. However, we’re intrigued to find out how the team tackle the actual mechanics of making an expedition to Mount Everest playable. Questions of locomotion in VR particularly intrigue us.

Nevertheless, it’s an impressive looking entry into an as yet unexplored wilderness of digital entertainment, oddly appropriate given the subject matter. We’ll keep you up to date on the progress of Everest VR as we learn more. Everest VR is set for launch next year on Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR.

The post Sólfar Secures $2.1M to Recreate Everest in VR and Get You to Climb it appeared first on Road to VR.


Categorised as: interesting

Posted by: Wasonerecied

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