A video game about the popular novel and TV series Sword Art Online is in development, according to a statement from IBM Japan.
“Sword Art Online: The Beginning” will be a virtual reality project headed by IBM Japan in an effort to bring the series’ game into consumer homes.
Sword Art Online is a light novel, manga and TV series whose novel has sold over 16 million copies worldwide. The story follows a group of teenagers stuck in a video game, called Sword Art Online, which they cannot leave. Even worse, if they die in the game, they die in real life. As far as we know right now, if you die in the game you won’t die in real life (But hey, that could change).
According to crunchyroll.com, in an attempt to stay faithful to the series, IBM Japan will hold a lottery to pick beta testers to play the game before anyone else. 208 winners will go to Japan on March 18 through the 20th, be scanned into the 3D world and be able to play the game their favorite characters played.
If you want to sign up for the player lottery, you can go to http://www.vrmmo-project.jp/entry/. However, you must meet specific physical requirements, including being at least 5 feet tall but no bigger than 6, and be at least 18 years old.
As far as we know right now, there are no plans to turn the other two games featured in the series, Alfheim Online and Gun Gale Online, into real games.
The virtual world of Sword Art Online will be recreated as a virtual reality experience, but not like a normal Oculus Rift game. With the Oculus Rift, players see through the character’s “eyes” in a first person point of view. IBM says Sword Art Online: The Beginning will be a little bit more like you’re watching the show, and will see yourself as a full 3D model from a third person point of view.
This not only has big implications for fans of the Sword Art Online Series, but for gamers as a whole, as this is a huge step in video gaming technology. Headset games are still in the early stages, and have been pretty hit or miss as far as success goes. IBM is promising fans a chance to fully immerse themselves in this fantasy world, with improved headset technology and user interface.
Games, Galaxies, and Other Geekery will keep you up to date as we find out more information about Sword Art Online: The Beginning.