MarineVerse Cup is a competitive VR sailing game that allows players from around the globe the opportunity to participate in multiplayer yacht races. Sailors must make split second decisions that will ultimately mean victory or defeat against other racers as they trim the sheets, handle the helm, and grind the winches.
Sailing and racing skills in MarineVerse Cup are tested with varying wind conditions and courses during daily and weekly races. Players attempt to climb the leaderboards that display their name and country along with racing stats and rank.
MarineVerse, the team behind this new sailing game, consists of a small group of passionate sailors and technologists who began working together in 2016 with a specific mission to create the best interactive sailing experiences in virtual reality. They shipped the award winning titles VR Regatta: The Sailing Game and Big Breezy Boat in 2018.
Development on MarineVerse Cup began in February 2019 and the first playable build was made available to a limited number of players in June. The game is now available in an early access “open alpha” on Steam, Rift, and Quest platforms.
Greg Dzemidowicz, director and lead developer at MarineVerse, has emphasized the company’s goal to make “sailing more approachable to everyone,” whether or not they’ve had sailing experience.
VR Regatta: The Sailing Game introduces the fundamentals of sailing and enables players to learn at a self-initiated pace.
Once sailors are comfortable with the basics, they can advance to MarineVerse Cup to test their skills against others in a competitive sailing environment. More experienced sailors will enjoy jumping right into the advanced simulations and competitions.
Supporting the company’s desire to democratize access to sailing, MarineVerse Cup is designed to work on standalone headsets such as the Oculus Quest. Access to the game on standalone headsets will make it easier for casual sailors to participate in virtual sailing experiences.
Whether someone is a beginner or an experienced sailor, MarineVerse has one of the most supportive and active communities in VR. These guys love sailing!
The importance of community can’t be overemphasized, particularly in VR esports. Sometimes it’s simply a matter of sharing ideas or finding solutions to a particular problem, but there is the added benefit of finding others who share your passion. This is especially beneficial to people who, whether through age, disability, physical location, etc., have lost the ability to enjoy sailing in physical reality. The games created by MarineVerse give them continued access to a sport they love while the social interaction can foster friendships, improved emotional health, and other benefits.
Future of VR Sailing
Earlier this year, event organizers for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games announced that there are plans to include some virtual events alongside traditional sporting competitions.
Based on a proposal from the World Sailing organization, there would be opportunities for virtual and connected interactions. These demonstration events will essentially introduce esports to the Olympic Games.
This is a step in the right direction for VR esports. One of the main deterrents of having esports in the Olympics has been the fact that, despite the mental and physical dexterity necessary for traditional esports, they require almost no physical exertion. That’s not the case with VR esports, which require physicality and athleticism in the top athletes.
Another deterrent for introducing esports to the Olympics, as Fortune reported last year, has been the fact many traditional esports are seen as “not compatible” with values promoted by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Since sailing is already part of the Olympic Games and obviously compatible with the desired values, it would be easier to introduce something like MarineVerse Cup rather than a first-person shooter type game.
“VR sailing is a great choice for players who want slightly more tactical game that doesn’t feature violence and is appropriate for all the age groups,” states Dziemidowicz.
With features such as a racing profile to track stats and allow country representation, daily practice races, and a recently introduced spectator mode, MarineVerse Cup is creating useful features for competitive VR sailing. They are also building a strong community and establishing a firm foundation that will enable MarineVerse to go in whichever direction the wind might take them.
In order to participate in the MarineVerse Cup early access alpha, you’ll need to create an account through the MarineVerse website. You can also refer to the following links for additional information.
MarineVerse Cup early access available through Steam
MarineVerse Discord server