Fitness and esports enthusiasts will soon have a new game to enjoy in Resolution Games’ Racket Club. While there are similarities to other racket sports like tennis and pickleball in physical reality, Racket Club is a brand new racket sport built from the ground up for VR.
This is fantastic news for those of us who use our headsets for exercise and for fun!
Back in 2021, I had the privilege of chatting with Mathieu Castelli, Resolution Games’ Chief Creative Officer, about Blaston, another VR game from Resolution Games that was picked up by esport leagues and enjoyed as a competitive VR game. At that time, Castelli & I chatted a bit off camera about VR, esports, tennis, and a non-descript racket type game they might be working on. I had hoped they would emphasize the social atmosphere possible with immersive tech and thankfully that seems to have been a big part of the plan.
In fact, according to Jim Squires, Director of Games PR at Resolution Games, “Racket Club aims to capture the general feeling of being in a real racket club — right down to strolling the grounds, spectating other players, and meeting up with other competitors before you step onto the court and start a match.”
Castelli and his team wanted to recreate an authentic club experience where players feel as if they’re in a place that feels familiar. A place where you can meet up with friends, spectate matches, hang out with friends, or walk onto the court like you would in physical reality. Except this is arguably better because you don’t have to leave your living room to do it.
Recently in the Racket Club Developer Diary, Castelli spoke about his goals for the Racket Club social aspect and overall experience. You can check out that interview below.
According to the Meta Quest page for Racket Club, the game “employs physics and interactions as close to real life racket sports as you can imagine.” Pickleball and tennis are considered moderate to high intensity aerobic activities in physical reality, but with the limited play space of VR and court size of Racket Club, the game will likely be a light to moderate workout, depending on individual play styles and intensity.
For those new to the concept of exercise in VR, if you’re wondering whether these games/workouts can truly contribute to a quality fitness program, I’d encourage you to read other articles on VR Fitness Insider or visit the Virtual Reality Institute of Health and Exercise to see how some of the most popular VR games compare to traditional workout activities.
For those who want to pursue the competitive aspect of the game, since it’s a cross-platform multiplayer game with opportunities for social engagement, it seems well-designed for esports.
It’s unclear whether there’s a spectator bot that would allow casters a bird’s eye view, but a courtside view is built into the game so at the very least casters will be able to commentate on the action from there.
Either way, players can partner up for doubles or compete in singles matches so it’ll be interesting to watch the development of the competitive scene for Racket Club. The game is sure to attract players interested in organizing tournaments or leagues and with Resolution Games’ previous interest in the tournaments and events, I’m sure they’re also looking into options.
Racket Club will launch in December for $24.99 and is available now on the Quest Store with a 12% limited-time discount on pre-orders.
It will also be available on Steam.
Although I was invited to the Racket Club beta, I haven’t been able to play yet, thanks – ironically – to a concussion I received earlier this month in a car accident while driving home from playing pickleball. The healing process has been slow so I haven’t been able to do any sports temporarily, but I’m excited to add Racket Club to my VR library of games and I hope to see you at the clubhouse in December!