2016: Our year in review

2016 was a big year for VR, and was certainly a big year for us. The team has grown from strength to strength, with our studio headcount almost doubling in size, and we’ve launched not one but three VR titles this year! Read on to find out what we’ve been up to…

The Assembly’s big moment

After months of anticipation we were thrilled to launch The Assembly, our first major release for virtual reality, on Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR. We were pleased to see The Assembly in the number one slot on Oculus Home for two weeks, and we’ve pulled together highlights of The Assembly’s press coverage in this round-up.

Art Manager Martin Field and Senior Designer Jackie Tetley took players through the first few levels of The Assembly in this Game Overview, where you get a sneak peek into the characters and environments within the game.

We subsequently updated The Assembly to support Vive, Oculus Touch and PlayStation Move controllers, allowing players to get hands-on with the mysterious environments in a brand new way.

And The Assembly’s success this year was rounded off by winning the TIGA Award for ‘Most Original Game’, which we were honoured to receive.

Danger Goat unleashed on Daydream

At Google I/O it was announced that we were making apps for Daydream, Google’s new platform for high-quality mobile VR. Our first title, the puzzle platformer Danger Goat, was one of the launch titles and inspired by our favourite cartoons and classic spy capers, where you guide an intergalactic space goat to safety and sabotage traps set to capture him.

Danger Goat also got everyone in the Christmas spirit with a special festive update in December. There was a Christmas jingle and snowflakes in the air, and Danger Goat was kitted out in a brand new outfit and red Rudolf nose! Ho ho ho…

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Partnerships and investment

2016 saw us partner with Paw Print Games, an independent games studio based in Chester, UK, where we are co-funding and publishing their first VR title. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed working closely with such a talented studio, and can’t wait to reveal more about this upcoming project this year.

In November we shared the exciting news that nDreams have completed a £2 million investment, which saw Mercia Technologies PLC and a group of angel investors confirm the first of a two-stage round.

Our CEO and Founder, Patrick O’Luanaigh, said:

“We’re delighted that Mercia are continuing to support our growth by taking part in this investment, which is the first of a two-stage round. We’re also very pleased to welcome a number of private investors, all of whom have hugely successful business backgrounds and a wealth of knowledge and experience. I’m so proud of the team that we have assembled here at nDreams.”

Events, events, events

BAFTA header

We were on the road often in 2016, kicking things off with our BAFTA talk entitled ‘Bringing a Virtual Mystery into Reality - Crafting a Story in VR’. We also spoke at The Gadget Show, VR World Congress and Develop: Brighton. Plus, we gave The Assembly its second public hands-on at EGX Rezzed, where five lucky winners got their hands on a free copy of The Assembly.

Additionally, we attended the Solent Business Awards where we won 'Best Use Of Technology'!

Keep an eye out to see where we end up next year!

The perfect end to a perfect year

We rounded the year off with Perfect, an escapism experience for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR. This was co-developed by Brighton-based studio Near Light. In Perfect you can immerse yourself in three natural and accessible environments, whether you need a five-minute escape or a way to show off your headset to family and friends.

This is a successor to Perfect Beach, launched in 2015 on Samsung Gear VR and Google Cardboard, where you can relax and unwind on a tropical beach location. Find out more about Perfect in this PlayStation blog.

2017 – onwards and upwards

With new investment under our belts, we’re excited to build on our successful 2016 and continue to develop high-quality VR games and experiences. With virtual reality continuing to grow, it’s a thrilling time to be working in such an innovative and fast-moving industry.

We look forward to showing you what we’re up to in the months ahead!

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