April 3, 2023

PAX East 2023 VR Roundup: Despite Scarce Presence, Virtual Reality Leaves a Lasting Impression on Gamers

PAX East 2023 VR Roundup: Despite Scarce Presence, Virtual Reality Leaves a Lasting Impression on Gamers

Are you ready to jump into the world of virtual reality at PAX East 2023 with us? This was our first convention, and we couldn't have been more excited to check out the VR games and experiences being showcased. As Massachusetts natives too, PAX East in Boston was the perfect place for us experience our first convention

We were a little worried when we heard that there would be limited VR booths at the event, but boy, were we wrong. The VR presence might have been small, but the impact it made was huge. While Meta might not have been their in full force like we wish they were and as they did with GDC, and PAX didn't have any dedicated VR setups themselves, that didn't stop these developers from rocking the house and peaking tons of new gamers interests in VR!

Our first stop was at the Resolution Games booth, where they had their hit game, Demeo, on display. It's safe to say that this game has taken the VR world by storm and it's easy to see why. The booth was always packed with people waiting to dive into the immersive gameplay, and the atmosphere was electric. We had the chance to talk to Jim Squires, Head of Games PR, and he had us hyped up and ready to join the party. We spoke some of whats coming next for Demeo, including their new PVP mode, as well Jim managed to get us riled up about their current mixed reality project - Spatial Ops!

We then stepped into the world of Peaky Blinders with Maze Theory's VR adaptation, Peaky Blinders VR: A Kings Ransom. The booth was always packed, and it's not hard to see why. The life-size cut-out of Tommy and the staff who sounded like they came straight from Birmingham added to the already buzzing atmosphere. We had a chance to talk to Russ Harding, the Chief Creative Officer behind the game, and he gave us a glimpse into what fans can expect from the VR adaptation including some of the work that it took utilizing the real actors' voices to create an authentic experience.

Next up, we visited the indie devs of Studio 217 and checked out their upcoming release, Pin City VR. This VR bowling game is still in its alpha stage, but it's already giving off "Walkabout Mini Golf" vibes. The developers were more than happy to chat with us about the game, and we were blown away by the positive reception it received from the crowd.

Finally, we had the chance to try out Amid Evil's VR port, coming soon to the Meta Quest. The booth was always crowded with fans eager to get their hands on the demo. Although we didn't get a chance to speak to the developers due to the overwhelming response, the positive reception spoke for itself.

Despite the limited VR presence at PAX East 2023, the games and experiences on offer made a huge impact on attendees, and it's safe to say that we were blown away by what we saw. Virtual reality might have been playing hard-to-get (Or was PAX playing hard-to-get with VR?), but it definitely won gamers' hearts at PAX East. Hopefully next year we will see a presence from Meta and more VR developers, but regardless we will be there! We can't wait to see what's in store for the future of VR, and we'll be eagerly awaiting our next VR convention adventure.

Check out all of our PAX East 2023 coverage on the podcast for all of our thoughts and interviews!