Monday, February 29, 2016
Late last year and early this year rumors surfaced about a game called Sword Art Online: The Beginning, which would've been a VR MMO title, combining a popular anime about VR MMOs with cutting-edge technology that would've made the very premise of the film come true. Indeed, everything considered, the whole idea seemed a little vague and frankly: a bit too good to be true. Unfortunately, that's exactly what it turned out to be. According to Ben Lang of Road to VR, the currently budding VR revolution won't be kick-started by such a massively spectacular undertaking: in fact, Sword Art Online: The Beginning isn't even a game.
According to the above said rumors, the title - supported by IBM Watson - was not only already in development, but 208 lucky people would get the chance to give its alpha version a go in Tokyo this March. Lang dispelled these rumors too, making it clear that Sword Art Online: The Beginning was nothing more than a clever promotional ploy on the part of IBM Watson: essentially a 20-minute VR marketing demo, which is still interesting but nowhere near as impressive as a VR MMO would've been.
Lang's actually talked with Mogura VR's Shun Kubota regarding the rumored MMO title who confirmed that Sword Art Online: The Beginning was nothing more than a way to offer a glimpse into what the future of gaming would look like with IMB Watson's cognitive computing technology thrown into a distant mix.
If the game had indeed been conceived and developed, Sword Art Online would've been the perfect universe to pair it with. In the anime, people in 2022 join a VR game-world called Sword Art World, to compete. The main point of conflict in the anime seems to be provided by the skill-gap between those who used the beta version and those just signing up upon launch.
Philip Thalberg is a hardcore Gosugamer, supporting the world's top destination for eSports videos since 2004.