The gaming industry is a thriving industry with a market capitalization of more than $256.97 billion. Globally, gaming has a reach of more than 2.5 billion people and is rapidly expanding. Despite the enormous success, the same cannot be said for the Pakistani market, as the gaming industry remains a tenuous thread in the country.
Currently, numerous game development companies in Pakistan focus exclusively on outsourcing their services to global game studios, with their products limited to mobile games. Even the market for Virtual Reality is difficult to define in the country, as technology is viewed as a toy by the majority.
However, a rising Pakistani startup called Portsea Games is poised to disrupt the gaming industry as the country’s first to develop in-house games for desktop users and other platforms. Portsea Games is a new Virtual Reality-focused game studio that aims to create premium full-featured VR games using cutting-edge techniques to provide gamers worldwide with unmatched immersion.
Portsea, headquartered in Islamabad, aims to transform how users interact with games in both single-player and multiplayer modes. The startup makes use of virtual and augmented reality to immerse users in the game. According to Danial Nasir, CEO of Portsea Games, “as a hyper-focused startup in the game development industry, we aim to eradicate Pakistan’s traditional game development studio culture.” Our local industry has prioritised mobile games, but we have only scratched the surface of other technologies and platforms. As a result, we aim to create premium games for all platforms, particularly VR, which will have a profound impact over the next decade.”
Portsea is currently being funded by an Australian company, with whom it is developing Virtual Reality and PC-based games. Their latest title, titled ‘Knights Risen: A Tale of Sacrifice,’ is an upcoming multiplayer battle arena that adds a unique survival element to well-known multiplayer versus games. The game’s objectives encourage exploration, scavenging, and survival while utilizing the knight’s flairs and being the first to leave the island, as only one can escape.
The game makes use of cutting-edge technologies such as Unity3D, Mirror, and Microsoft Azure, and is inspired by popular books, television series, and films such as ‘The 100,’ ‘Ark: Survival Evolved,’ and ‘The Hunger Games,’ among others.
According to the startup, “our vision is to create the first-of-its-kind Battle Royale based on an Escape Room concept.” Unlike traditional battle royales, it will focus on escaping an island by first surviving and then competing against other players. The first person to escape will be declared the winner.”
When they tested their latest game, they discovered that the entire experience replicated a post-apocalyptic scenario in which the player must navigate through a foggy forest and survive not only their opponents in the game but also mutated animals and monsters that could attack at any time and endanger their chances of winning. Another unique aspect of this game is the abilities; they last a set amount of time and definitely give users an advantage depending on which character they choose.
Numerous characters appear in the game, each with their own unique ability such as super-speed or night vision, and are fully customizable according to the player’s preferences. For a brief moment, it appeared as though the player was participating in the next Hunger Games, but the game contains twists, such as the world is radiated and if the player does not escape quickly enough, he or she dies and loses. In the end, it comes down to survival of the fittest and timing.
At the end of the day, Knights Risen elevates Virtual Reality gaming to a new level by introducing creativity and excitement that are typically absent from VR games.