Chapter 770: VRgame Online!
The last piece of good news was about Phantom helmet from Future Technology.
In early April, Future Technology held a special VR game industry summit in the Silicon Valley subsidiary. Future Technology invited hundreds of renowned game companies and studios worldwide and signed a VR technology sharing agreement.
As early as the beginning of last year, Future Technology responded to the demands of parties to open up VR software development tools. However, because there were no supporting training sessions, major game companies and studios were extremely slow when transplanting their games to the VR platform. In addition, aside from the large vendors such as Microsoft, Sony, Sega, and Ubisoft, almost no one had the financial resources to rent a supercomputer as their own game server.
It was precisely because of this that until April this year, there was still no large-scale VR game other than “Godly Land” on the market.
But now this situation would soon change.
According to the signed VR technology sharing agreement, Future Group would send technical consultants to major game companies to train groups of developers who could skillfully use basic VR development tools. Future Group would hold 5% of the shares of the participating game companies. This 5% stake would enable Future Technology to acquire a seat on the board of directors in these companies.
However, Future Group promised to exercise only limited voting rights on the board of directors.
At the same time, in the latest update of Phantom Helmet, the icon of VRgame was added to the menu interface, although it was only a black frame with the words “stayed tuned” at the moment.
The positioning of VRgame was similar to Steam on PC; users could purchase games through VRgame. All companies that joined the technology sharing agreement would be eligible to join VRgame. For games sold by other companies, Future Technology only charged 20% of the total sales as channel fees as well as a relatively low server renting cost based on server resource demands.
For technical reasons, Future Group completely sealed the possibility of piracy on the channel, and VR games were the future of games for the next era. Therefore, once the VRgame application was launched, it immediately attracted the attention of countless developers.
What’s more, some shareholders even directly announced at the shareholders’ meeting that they would devote all their energy to the development of VR games and completely abandon the piracy-rampant PC field.
At the same time, the launch of VRgame also allowed Chinese game makers to be hopeful. At the beginning of 2000, China had a lot of outstanding stand-alone games, including Butterfly Meteor Sword and Chinese Paladins. However, these masterpieces that once hoped to compete with Japanese game companies were, without exception, dead in their own hands. They didn’t even make it out of the country before being bankrupted by piracy.
The only Chinese Paladin series that barely survived today began to sell games based on people’s nostalgia.
But now this situation could finally end.
All VR games would be run on Future Group servers, and any server rental applications without copyright would be rejected. In addition, the genre issues that some countries’ game makers worried about could also be perfectly resolved in VRgame.
The platform’s own translation system would eliminate the problem of language barriers. Even if you made a game that couldn’t be published in the country due to censorship, you could sell it in Xin and conquer the global market. The “backdoors” in Phantom Helmet also made it possible for players in other regions to jump over the walls to purchase games for sale in Xin. In other words, as long as your game was good enough, even if it was sold in Xin with a population less than 100,000 people, the sales volume would still be able to break 100 million.
Could the people in the government go to Xin and burn their servers?
According to the relevant provisions of the WTO on virtual product services, there were no tariffs when selling games in different countries, therefore this wouldn’t be classified as a tax-avoidance move.
It was foreseeable that in the next few years, there would be a wave of outstanding quality VR games on Phantom, which would cement Future Technology’s dominance and develop VR into a flourishing market.
Microsoft Game Studios, or MGS for short, was a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft that developed and distributed games for Windows-based personal computers, Xbox and Xbox 360 game consoles. Its development game involved various fields from RTS to RPG. Classic titles included Age of Empires, Fable, and Halo. The consideration of MGS as the richest console game company wasn’t an exaggeration.
At the summit, Future Technology invited MGS, and MGS CEO Aiden Nelson also personally attended the summit.
After attending the VR game industry summit in Silicon Valley, Aiden stepped out of the venue and immediately flew back to Redmond, Washington, and took his suitcase directly to Microsoft headquarters.
He handed the suitcase to his assistant and stood at the door of the CEO’s office. He took a deep breath and stepped inside.
As he expected, CEO Satya Nadera was working. When he saw Aiden entering through the door, Satya put the pen down and looked at him.
“How did it go?”
Aiden opened his hands and didn’t know how to answer the question. He merely took out a document from his briefcase.
“This is a VR technology sharing agreement provided by Future Technology. The fruit they gave is very sweet, but the conditions…”
Aiden spat out some words after a long pause.
“Are very harsh.”
Satya didn’t seem to hear any of his words. She took a look at the documents and flipped through them.
Half an hour later, Satya laid down her documents, picked up a pen resting on the side, and signed her name at the end.
Satya looked at the name and swallowed.
“Do we really want to let them control the MGS? Although it’s only 5% of the shares…”
“Think about it from another perspective – paying 5% of the shares will allow MGS to live. This isn’t a bad ending at all.” Satya grunted and shook her head with a smile.
Deducting 5% of the shares of MGS was equivalent to using 500 million US Dollar to join this agreement. With only 500 million in exchange for the possibility of entering the field of virtual reality, this deal didn’t seem bad at all. What’s more, Microsoft didn’t have much choice.
The introduction of VR equipment was like an industry reshuffle. In this shuffle, even a small workshop with a market value of one dollar might become the market-leading company with a market value of ten billion in the future. What was certain was that those small indie companies must’ve signed without hesitation. If Microsoft hesitated this time, MGS may be surpassed by these indie companies in the field of VR.
Ignore the agreement, Future Technology also promised compensation for companies with high market value. This compensation was mainly reflected in the distribution of training resources. Large companies possessed more abundant talent pools, and Future Technology would also send more technical consultants to “help” them become familiar with development tools.
Anyway, they were now a family.
“The next strategic goal of MGS is to port Minecraft to VRgame. The only requirement is to occupy the sandbox game market before everyone else!”
Minecraft, which Microsoft bought for 2.5 billion US Dollar, originally was prepared to be ported to HoloLens. However, sales of HoloLens was their first defeat in the VR field.
Porting Minecraft to a competitor’s platform was, in a sense, equivalent to a defeat. But from another perspective, it was also a choice. After all, it wouldn’t be wise to fight to the death in VR devices against Future Group, who had an absolute advantage.
[But… is this really okay?]
After picking up the agreement and looking at the expressionless CEO, Aiden finally stopped himself from asking the question that lingered in his head.