The videogame industry is a tough business and that goes double for VR. Recently, successful studios like First Contact Entertainment have shut down whilst others – such as Archiact – have had to lay off staff. But VR is also filled with plenty of indie developers trying to make their mark. Rune Skovbo Johansen is one such dev, having released Eye of the Temple for both PCVR and Meta Quest. But after so many years focused on his VR project, he’s now ‘done with VR’ to focus on a new flatscreen game.
Eye of the Temple is a rather unique VR game in that it mixes both roomscale locomotion and puzzle solving. With obvious Indiana Jones traits, you have to step on moving platforms to navigate the temple. You also have a whip to dispatch enemies.
Originally, Eye of the Temple launched for PCVR on Steam back in 2021. Well received and reviewed, it wasn’t a commercial success. As Johansen notes in a recent blog post, after one year on sale he had managed to recoup only 40% of his investment. This vastly improves when Eye of the Temple hits Meta Quest. Developed in collaboration with Salmi Games, in less than a year the Quest port has greatly improved revenue. This has seen Johansen’s investment covered by 140%.
No more temple running
Even with this newfound success, Johansen is leaving VR behind. He’s been working on Eye of the Temple for seven years, so, understandably, he wants to try something else. “I’m no longer working on the game at this point. After being occupied with it over a span of seven years, I really want to move on, and I’m also done with VR in general for now.”
So what’s next? In 2022 he began developing The Big Forest (working title) but put it on hold to work on the Quest port. Now he’s going back to it. A fully procedurally generated game, he describes The Big Forest: “It’s set in a big mystical forest and has a strong focus on exploration. The gameplay will involve light puzzles based on connecting clues found through exploration and gradually gaining access to new areas.”
Johansen goes onto say that: “I expect The Big Forest to be my focus for several years (and that might end up being an understatement).” So if he does return to VR it won’t be for a long time!
Have you played Eye of the Temple? Let us know what you thought of the game in the comments.