Comic Vket 1, the virtual reality alternative to Japan’s Comic Market (“Comiket”) fan convention, is under way as of August 13, 2020. The digital stands are bustling. Fans from all over can attend just by loading up the “Virtual Akihabara” event space in popular VR programs like VRChat, Cluster, or Styly. Once there, they can browse virtual booths set up by indie creators, sample their work, and order them online. Beyond the ‘zines and fan comics, Comic Vket is also accompanied by a neighboring space, Music Vket, dedicated to indie acts and composers. Oh, and there are official NieR Automata VR avatars up for sale for quite an expensive price.
See, it’s not just indies and amateurs that have a space in virtual Akihabara. Like the real Comiket, Comic Vket also hosts a handful of “Corporate Booths,” which are spaces for sponsors and industry players to hold special events and sell exclusive goods. Of particular interest this year is the presence of NieR: Automata, the ever-popular android opus by Yoko Taro. Square Enix put up a space in the music section, where it plays looping footage of vocalist Emi Evans at the the NieR: Automata 012018 Orchestral Concert. At this space, you can buy copies of the concert Blu-ray disc, the official game soundtrack, and the orchestral arrangement album.
But that’s boring compared to the other items on sale at the Comic Vket NieR Automata VR booth. Square Enix has seen fit to convert the very 3D models used in the game itself into VR avatars and put them up on sale. The models are fully rigged for animations and come with a prefab setup compatible with use in VRchat. Model options for 2B, 9S, and Emil’s Shop are available via the Virtual Market digital store. The only problem is the pricing. The 2B and 9S avatars go for ¥10,000 (about $94 USD) each, and the Emil’s Store avatar goes for ¥5,000 (about $48 USD), making the cost for an “official” avatar a bit high.
Check out some screenshots I took of my visit to the space below:
Comic Vket 1 will last until August 16, 2020. To visit, just download a participating program (VRChat would be the most widely available, and is free to use), and load up the Comic Vket 1 “World” after finishing the initial tutorial. VRChat does not require the use of a VR headset. Meanwhile, NieR Automata is available on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.