Prague, Czech Republic – Developed by the Prague-based video game studio Beat Games, Beat Saber has been named Best VR/AR (Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality) Game of the year at the annual Game Awards.
Having also won IGN’s Best VR Game of 2019, the international sensation, which has sold more than one million copies worldwide since its release last year, beat other nominees in the category, including Asgard’s Wrath, Blood & Truth, No Man’s Sky, and Trover Saves the Universe.
Designed by Slovak natives Ján Ilavský and Vladimír Hrinčár in cooperation with Czech counterpart Jaroslav Beck, the widely-popular VR video game features the player slicing blocks representing musical beats with a pair of red and blue light sabers and takes place in a surrealistic neon noir environment.
“Beat Saber is nothing short of medium-defining, brilliant in its simplicity despite its odd elevator pitch. But that odd combination is something Beat Studio perfected from the go, with a fantastic beat-matching mechanic that makes its VR tunnel of lights and floating blocks enthralling to lose yourself in”, writes IGN on its website.
“Thanks to smart track selection, impressive level scaling and gameplay that’s easy to pick up and feel cool playing, even if you look like a doofus in real life, makes Beat Saber one of the best VR games around”, it adds.
The game was a launch title for the Oculus Quest, a virtual reality headset created by Oculus Studios, a division of Facebook.
Last week, Beat Games was also purchased by Facebook, as Mark Zuckerberg’s company continues to strengthen its presence in the virtual reality world.
“Beat Saber started as a small indie project, and I never expected any of the crazy things that have happened during the past year”, Ilavský wrote shortly after the acquisition was announced.
Financial details of the transaction have not been revealed yet. But under the deal, Beat Games, which currently employs less than 10 people, should be able to keep its headquarters in Prague, operating as an independently operated studio under the umbrella of Oculus Studios.
“Beat Games is a strong team with proven potential across VR, games and music”, Facebook head of AR/VR content, Mike Verdu, announced. “With the resources and know-how that we can offer, Beat Games will be able to accelerate, adding more music and more exciting features to Beat Saber as well as bringing the game to more people”.
“Beat Saber is a perfect example of why VR is so exciting”, he continued. “VR reimagines old genres and events new ones. The team at Beat Games made a leap forward in innovation and design with the stellar blend of game mechanics and music in Beat Saber, and yet we know that they, along with so many other devs, are just getting started”.
Now in it’s sixth year, the Game Awards has arguably become one of gaming’s biggest nights with games from across the spectrum, from AAA titles to esports and indies, hoping to win the numerous prizes.
Despite criticism for being incredibly hard to complete, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, an action-adventure video game developed by FromSoftware and published by Activision, won Game of the Year, thereby succeeding to God of War. The latest release from game-creating legend Hideo Kojima, Death Stranding, also took home three awards including best game direction.