Sinn Studio: Taking the World of XR Combat by Storm with Swordsman VR

Published On: 18 March 2024Categories: Featured StoriesTags: , , ,

Extended Reality, or XR for short, is a relatively new concept in the world of interactive digital media, and only started being used as an umbrella term for a variety of new technologies – Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Mixed Reality (MR) – over the last decade or so. In recent years, Ontario has produced many noteworthy, award-winning, and bestselling XR experiences, one of them being Sinn Studio’s hugely successful ‘XR combat’ game Swordsman VR.

The Lodgge had a chance to speak with Edil Hundubey, Marketing Manager at Sinn Studio, about Swordsman, the studio’s recent successes, and what they have in store for the future.

2023 was a big year for Sinn Studio, especially with Swordsman gaining a brand-new audience with the game’s launch on the Meta Quest Store. What were some other highlights for the team?

Edil: This year has been an incredible journey for us here at Sinn Studio. In February, Swordsman was a PSVR2 launch day title.

We also had several free major updates including Sandbox, Ranged Combat, and Training Grounds. 

Swordsman was nominated for Best VR/AR Game of the Year at the Canadian Game Awards and was listed among the Top 10 PSVR2 titles of 2023! We couldn’t be more grateful for 2023 and look forward to an even more exciting year ahead.

The Training Grounds update has been a fun addition to Swordsman! Could you talk a bit about how the idea came about, and the update’s reception so far?

Edil: Training Grounds was definitely our most exciting and anticipated update in 2023. The ability to bring together our community with an avid spirit for competition through the addition of global cross-platform leaderboards in Swordsman was incredible. 

Since the launch of Swordsman, our community has always asked for a PVP or multiplayer. We’ve always made sure to host community events such as Top 3 Kills where community members sent in clips of their best themed (kills). This update, however, allowed us to be able to host the biggest competition we’ve ever had with over 1200 participants competing in various challenges for the chance to win.

Sinn Studio has also recently secured VC funding, congratulations! How has the journey towards this accomplishment been, and has it changed the studio’s plans for 2024 and beyond?

Edil: Considering the economic landscape, it was tough; capital was limited, and investors were extremely cautious; we raised it arguably the toughest market of the last 8-10 years. That speaks to our vision and traction. 

Prior to the raise, we were a team of 30, we’re currently at 35, and we plan to be at 45 by mid-summer. We’re investing a lot more in R&D so that we can bring competitive experiences to XR through combat, which has not been possible so far. A substantial amount of the funding raised is going into the R&D of future products, which we believe will propel the entire industry forward.

What does the team think about other XR combat games like Broken Edge (also made in Canada) and Blade and Sorcery? What do you feel makes Swordsman different from those games? Do you feel like you’re competing for the same players?  

Edil: Blade & Sorcery and Broken Edge are both incredible games (special shout-out to the Montreal-based team). As [Alek Sinn, CEO and Founder of Sinn Studio] put it once, “Blade & Sorcery is a murder simulator.”

We aim for a different experience for players; our focus is bringing the MOST realistic sword-fighting and melee combat experience in Virtual Reality. 

What has being part of the larger Ontario game development community meant to Sinn Studio?

Edil: It’s provided a sense of support, and being able to connect with others from the industry makes it feel like you’re tackling something together, as opposed to working in silos. It’s been beneficial from a knowledge transfer perspective. We’ve learned a lot about the industry and product development that have helped us on our way to our mission. Through the community, we’ve found future employees and collaborators. It is fantastic to see the incredible talent present in the province of Ontario.

Are there other Ontario studios or developers that Sinn Studio is a fan of? Are any locally-made games personal favourites?

Edil: Steve Piggot and Torn Banner. We’re dedicated entirely to combat and value the dedication that Torn Banner has provided combat on other gaming platforms. They’ve inspired us greatly!

Swordsman VR

We understand that you’re looking to expand upon the Swordsman IP in the future; is there anything you can tell us or tease about what’s in store, aside from the recently launched Combat AI update?

Edil: I can say that we’re working in XR, meaning that we aren’t only focused on VR. We’ve got a sizable project that we’re near completion. It is for mixed reality and combat-focused, of course.

We believe combat is the best gaming experience in VR. So, we are currently working on the technology that will enable us to release the first-ever real-time PvP combat game. We believe that this title has the potential to be the most popular game in XR ever.

XR-based experiences are a rapidly growing space within interactive entertainment, with the medium allowing players to have significantly deeper and more memorable experiences as compared to conventional ‘flat’ media. With a growing expertise led by Swordsman, Sinn Studio has grabbed a sizeable foothold within the XR combat genre, and we can’t wait to see where they take us next!

Swordsman and the game’s brand-new Combat AI update are now playable on Meta Quest, PlayStation VR, Steam, HTC VIVEPORT, and Pico XR

Contributed By

Hemanth Kay

Senior Editor on The Lodgge