SAN FRANCISCO, CA (November 7, 2017) - Seeker, the digital leader in science and exploration, and Icelandic VR developer Sólfar Studios, in a co-production with visual effects house RVX, today released EVEREST VR: The Seeker Expedition, a free content update to EVEREST VR for all high-immersion PC and console VR platforms. The production is a creative and editorial collaboration that brings the stories and the science of Mount Everest to life in an immersive narrative format only possible in virtual reality. The new update allows virtual climbers to explore and navigate Mount Everest through a series of guides and infographic sequences. The Seeker Expedition also incorporates unique 360 video footage filmed by the VR Explorers, documenting their successful 2016 summit attempt. It provides an unparalleled perspective on the real world conditions and environment facing Everest climbers.
"Seeker is constantly looking for new, engaging ways to explain the world through the lens of science, which is why we’re thrilled to partner with Sólfar Studios and RVX to create The Seeker Expedition in EVEREST VR," said Caroline Smith, Chief Content Officer at Seeker. "The Seeker Expedition will enable consumers to be visually immersed in new ways while they learn more about what it’s really like to ascend Earth’s largest mountain in VR and on Facebook 360."
In this rich expansion to the acclaimed EVEREST VR experience, The Seeker Expedition invites users to journey across the mountain exploring the environment, history and physical challenges that climbers face on Mount Everest through the lens of science.
"EVEREST VR: The Seeker Expedition uses the medium of virtual reality to tell a story that reveals itself only through exploration and serendipitous encounter within the VR experience," said Kjartan Pierre Emilsson, co-founder and CEO of Sólfar Studios. "I couldn't be more pleased with the results of our collaboration with the team at Seeker who share our fascination with the creative potential that VR uniquely offers to convey stories and science from the one of the most inaccessible places on Earth."
Merging interactive documentary with the immersion of virtual reality, EVEREST VR: The Seeker Expedition lets users explore a fully navigable, real-time 3D reconstruction of Mount Everest and discover fascinating accounts of man´s encounters with the world’s most iconic mountain. In a series of audio guides, contextual infographic sequences and ground-breaking 360 video filmed on Everest, the experience conveys multiple perspectives of the mountain. They range from the geology of the Himalayas to the impact of climate change on Everest; from the effects of high altitude climbing on the human body to the summit experiences of mountaineer Conrad Anker, expedition captain Lakpa Rita Sherpa, and geologist and author Mike Searle. Norbu Tenzing, Vice President of the American Himalayan Foundation and son of Tenzing Norgay provides a unique account of Sherpa culture and of his father´s historic first ascent with Edmund Hillary in 1953.
The Seeker Expedition also incorporates unique 360 video footage filmed by the VR Explorers, documenting their successful 2016 summit attempt. It provides an unparalleled perspective on the real world conditions and environment facing Everest climbers.
Since its release in August 2016, EVEREST VR has received significant updates, including the expansion of God Mode which offers players sweeping views of Mt. Everest and the surrounding mountain ranges at scales ranging from 1500x to 1x resolution. The team has recently added 18 different historical expedition routes to God Mode, including the 1953 British Expedition when Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay made the first successful summit of Everest. In these scenes featured in God Mode, users can view the route via a collection of stunning high resolution color photographs from the expedition, often from the same vantage point that the original photograph was taken. Photographs from the 1953 British Expedition are provided courtesy of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), who earlier this year accepted Sólfar’s charitable donation of the EVEREST VR, which will be held as part of the Society’s Everest Collection.
EVEREST VR, including free The Seeker Expedition update, is available for download today for $14.99 from Oculus Home, the PlayStation Store, Steam and Viveport. Select 360-degree scenes from The Seeker Expedition will also be distributed across Seeker’s owned & operated site (seeker.com) in addition to Seeker’s social channels to reach a broader, mobile-first audience. Learn more about EVEREST VR: The Seeker Expedition at seeker.com/seeker-expedition
Seeker explains every aspect of our world through a lens of science. Our content makes sense of the universal and technological forces that impact our lives and shape our future. Our stories demystify the headlines, make science relatable and offer deep immersion in a pragmatic amount of time. We parse meaning from the noise in a world of rapidly changing information. Through the lens of science, and with a focus on the human element, Seeker shapes public opinion about stories that matter. We celebrate relentless curiosity with an insatiable drive to question, dream and create. In December 2016, Seeker joined forces with Thrillist, The Dodo and NowThis to form Group Nine Media -- a top ten global publisher.
About Sólfar Studios:
Founded in Reykjavík, Iceland in October 2014 by game industry veterans, Sólfar Studios’ mission is to create and publish pure virtual reality games that thrill players, define the medium, and establish Sólfar as the category leader in virtual reality entertainment. Sólfar Studios is currently developing multiple projects across all major VR platforms, including PlayStation VR, HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.