CCP launches Tron-like sports game Sparc for PSVR

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CCP Games has launched Sparc for Sony’s PlayStation VR. It’s CCP’s fourth VR game, and it’s a homage to sci-fi experiences like the film Tron, with plenty of colorful neon art. It’s part of a new category of active sports, or virtual sports.

I played Sparc last week at the Gamescom convention in Cologne, Germany, and it got me all sweaty. You play against another human in a long, narrow court. You both toss a ball at your rival, hoping to hit home. The balls bounce off the walls, floor, and ceiling. So you can try to take your opponent by surprise.

The action gets intense as two balls bounce back-and-forth. You can catch a ball in your hand by squeezing the triggers on your PlayStation Move controllers, and you can block a ball and bounce it backwards with a shield. If a ball gets past you, you don’t have to worry about it as the back wall absorbs it. That’s because CCP doesn’t want you to get tangled up in your PSVR cords.

You can find matches with friends or play with strangers via matchmaking. It has two-player modes and three different arenas. You can play on novice or advanced levels. You can customize your suit, headgear, and knuckle guards. And you can watch other players fight it out as well.

Above: Sparc is a two-player dueling game in VR.

Image Credit: CCP

Adam Khan, senior director of communications at CCP, said in an interview with GamesBeat that a small team of 14 people in Atlanta made Sparc. Morgan Godat served as executive producer.

“We took a shot at something new,” he said. “It’s hard to find comparable products. We call it ‘vsport,’ for virtual sports.”

Above: Sparc is a 180-degree VR game.

Image Credit: CCP

Veigar Pétursson, who is speaking at our GamesBeat 2017 conference on October 5 and October 6 in San Francisco, said in an earlier talk that the Reykjavik, Iceland-based company had spent about $30 million on VR games and generated about $25 million in revenues on various platforms. Now the company has spent a bit more and also generated more revenue, Kahn said, but it hasn’t updated those figures. But it may be close to profitability, and Sparc could help with that.

CCP’s other VR games include Eve: Valkyrie, Gunjack, and Gunjack 2.

Sparc is available for download on the PS VR for $30 in the U.S. and €30 in Europe from the PlayStation Store.

The PC Gaming channel is presented by Intel®‘s Game Dev program.

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