The pioneering global iGaming platform behind India’s
latest and most successful online poker rooms, PokerStars, has recently
launched an innovative update to its Virtual Reality (VR) game that will launch
viewers into space.
Virtual Reality is one of the longest-running emerging tech markets that, despite billions of dollars of investment in research and development, simply hasn’t been able to achieve the widespread adoption and integration of its simpler cousin, Augmented Reality (AR). Headsets like the Oculus Rift and the Samsung Gear VR have made a significant contribution to making the tech more accessible to the everyday gamer, but the lack of innovative games still kept it on the back burner – especially as the mobile hyper-casual genre grew in prominence.
PokerStars VR was one of the first free-to-play virtual reality online poker games to hit the market when it launched in 2018 – a risky move since up until then combining the wildly successful genre of online poker with such advanced tech was unprecedented. How would both the gaming and poker playing communities respond? It turned out to be a move worth making, however, as it has since become one of the iGaming giant’s most successful games. Drawing positive feedback and reviews from industry experts, the tech community and diehard gamers alike, PokerStars VR is now available to stream and download on the likes of Steam and Oculus Rift, as well as through the Viveport gaming platform.
The brand new Galaxy Space Station level arrives at the perfect time, as the world celebrates the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11s successful mission to land on the moon back on 20th July 1969. Admittedly, players who set out for the Galaxy station aren’t quite heading into the same unknown territory that Neil Armstrong and his crew did when they set foot on the earth’s moon half a century ago, but there are still plenty of aliens, space-themed gadgets and robots on offer in this simulation to provide a “truly interstellar poker playing experience”.
The space station update, which offers both cash games and the frenetic sit-and-go tournaments, comes with a raft of new in-game features and items including character apparel, hats, props, toys, space monkeys and more. The brand new Stars Cred system will enable players to purchase these items so that they completely customize their digital avatars – prices begin at $1.99 (USD) for 200 creds. Using the Stash tab, players will also be able to permanently store and own these items, so none of those precious space monkeys will end up lost in space!
What a year it’s
It’s been a little over a year since the PokerStars brand officially launched in India as www.pokerstars.in and what a year it’s been! Things got off to a great start with the uber-glamorous and super-talented Muskan Sethi, who became not just the first professional female Indian player to be honored by President Ram Nath Kovind, but also the first sponsored female player in her role as an official PokerStars
India Ambassador. In July, the brand partnered with the Global Poker League to form the inaugural GPL India, which saw six regional teams (including Sethi`s own Deli Diehards) square-off over a series of tournaments, including the live-televised grand final. The brand’s most recent coup was signing renowned actor, Nawazuddin Siddiqui as an ambassador this spring.
Siddiqui cut a fine figure as India’s answer to James Bond in their debut promotional campaign, as well as starring in a series of engaging videos that posed the question “Is Nawaz bluffing?”
The success of the brand goes hand in hand with the new perception of poker in India as a disciplined and challenging mind sport, with poker leagues like the Diehard Deli being central to this new representation.
In addition to supporting and sponsoring professional players like Muskan Sethi and Aditya Agarwal under the Team Pro banner, earlier this year PokerStars formed a league of amateur Indian players, who successfully contested their way to the official PSPC Championships in the Bahamas in January – another first for Indian poker players.