Virtuix, the company that makes the Omni VR treadmill, released Omni Arena, a VR esports game developed in-house. It's exclusively for the Omni treadmills.
Omni Arena is a first-person shooter that offers single player maps and multiplayer gameplay with 1v1 and 2v2 configurations. Players must fight to survive oncoming waves of enemy robots while they sprint around the map avoiding enemy fire.
“Omni Arena was developed to combine the physical activity of the Omni with the thrill of eSports and the immersions of VR,” said Jan Goetgeluk, Founder, and CEO of Virtuix. “The game provides an adrenaline rush to the players and a visual spectacle to the audience. It’s well-suited for competitive gaming in VR arcades and gaming centers, and many of our location-based entertainment customers plan to organize Omni Arena tournaments and VR eSports leagues featuring the game. We plan to host a worldwide Omni Arena tournament later this year.”
Virtuix is giving its Kickstarter and pre-order customers a free copy of Omni Arena, but there won’t be many private Omni owners. Virtuix launched a Kickstarter campaign for the Omni VR treadmill in June 2013. At the time, Virtuix thought it would start shipping product in January 2014, but the company ran into a series of setback and delays over the past few years. Virtuix started shipping Omnis to its earliest backers in late 2015, but mass production of the device didn’t start until mid-2016, and the first container of the devices didn’t land in the U.S. until October.
Virtuix said that the price of the Omni kits would go up in October to reflect actual production costs, but that didn’t happen. In December, Virtuix revealed it was forced to cancel all pre-orders outside of the continental U.S., deeming international sales “unfeasible” because of shipping and logistics costs.
In December, Virtuix was still entertaining the idea of setting up international distribution channels for the retail market, but the company appears to be moving away from the idea for the time being and refocusing its energy entirely on the commercial market.
“We are currently not taking new consumer orders and are not pursuing the consumer market at this time,” said Goetgeluk. “We may return to the consumer market at a later date, but in the meantime, we are focused on the commercial entertainment market (operators using the Omni in VR arcades, gaming centers, or shopping malls).”
Virtuix is currently working with Hero Entertainment to provide Omni treadmills and dedicated software to the VR arcade market in China and offers commercial licensing programs for Omni hardware. Commercial licenses are also available for Omni Arena.