The pinnacle of sporting achievement for most athletes is winning a medal at the Olympic Games. It’s also a badge of honour if a new sport is recognised and accepted into the Olympic Program. Whilst there’s still a way to go until that happens, One Hamsa’s Racket: Nx has taken an important step towards that goal, receiving an endorsement by the IOC (International Olympic Committee)-recognised International Racquetball Federation (IRF).
The first time a virtual reality (VR) videogame has received an official endorsement of this kind, One Hamsa and the IRF have agreed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). They’ll collaborate to develop Racket: Nx as an Olympic Virtual Series sport with the eventual aim to fully approve Racket: Nx as a full l discipline, thus making it a candidate for the Olympic Games.
“Racket: Nx is an immersive, skill-based and fully athletic experience, that opens the gate for players of all racquet sports–not only racquetball–to play full out inside a lighted, player-responsive, sound and music-filled dome, in a game that is as unique as it is engaging,” said One Hamsa Studio Director Assaf Ronen in a statement. “Racket:Nx has over 150,000 players connected overall PC and mobile VR platforms, including the fastest-growing VR headset, the Oculus Quest 2 and is available around the globe, including the emerging Chinese VR market. That means that this game is more likely to achieve the mass acceptance that the IOC seeks.”
The Olympic Virtual Series was unveiled earlier this year and ran from May through to June. It featured five games simulating Baseball, Cycling, Rowing, Sailing and Motorsport but only two were physical (Cycling & Rowing) and none were in VR. Should Racket: Nx eventually join this group it’ll add another highly physical element to the roster.
“This is a marriage made in future-sport heaven: a world-class developer and a unique, successful, and wonderful game, with a fully global international IOC-recognised sports federation, that has the vision and the grit to not just see around the corner but to go there. This is a major opportunity, as there are more total racquet sports players in the world than soccer players,” adds Virtual Sports Association CEO Victor Bond who helped broker the deal.
Available for Oculus Quest and PC VR headsets, Racket: Nx is known for its highly energetic gameplay. Players find themselves inside a futuristic dome where they have to smash a floating ball into the wall to score points as quickly as possible to progress through the waves. Gameplay is augmented with various tiles like wormholes, so they need to listen to audio cues to hear where it’ll appear next. Last month One Hamsa released a new update adding a level builder enabling players to create and share their own designs.
As further details regarding Racket: Nx’s Olympic aspirations are revealed, VRFocus will let you know.