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HTC invests in VR studio Steel Wool

Consumer electronics firm HTC has invested US$5 million in Steel Wool, a virtual reality development studio formed by creative veterans from Pixar Animation Studios, Lucasfilm and Telltale Games.

VR ThommoCalifornia-based Steel Wool said it will use the funds to help develop multiple existing “medium-pushing VR projects”, which span game, simulation, and narrative-based concepts.

The first of these upcoming projects is interactive simulation Mars Odyssey, which is due to launch on the Steam platform on September 9. In April, the studio launched Quar: Battle for Gate 18, an action strategy title on Steam for the HTC Vive.

“The Steel Wool Studios team carries an impressive pedigree of creative talent that has already proven its ability to build cutting-edge content for the nascent VR category,” said Cher Wang, CEO, HTC Corporation.

“Taking a look at Mars Odyssey and Steel Wool’s other projects under development, it’s immediately clear that this studio will drive VR adoption with great content that balances amazing visual fidelity with strong storytelling.”

Last month HTC announced that it would launch a virtual reality content store, called Viveport, aimed at the global community of VR developers.

The rollout follows the launch this year of the Vive virtual reality headset, which was developed by HTC in partnership with Valve – a US-based video game developer and owner of the Steam games platform.

Steel Wool was formed in 2011 by creative veterans with more than 50 years of film and storytelling experience. Co-founders include Andrew Dayton who worked on films like Ratatouille and Toy Story 3, and Charles Huang who co-created the Guitar Hero videogame franchise.