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Resolution Games is having one heckuva 2021. It released Demeo in May, and this VR dungeon crawler has both received critical acclaim and successful sales. And now the Swedish studio has a new warchest for expanding its already sizable footprint in AR/VR game development.
Today, Resolution Games announced it’s closed a $25 million Series C, which Qualcomm Ventures and Bitkraft Ventures co-led. This round also includes previous investors such as Initial Capital and Sisu Game Ventures (among others).
Resolution Games is a VR success story. It’s released a number of hit VR games, such as Blaston, Cook-Out: A Sandwich Tale, and Bait. It saw an early opportunity in VR, even if this market hasn’t panned out in the way folks predicted it would years ago. It’s now a niche, but that doesn’t mean savvy developers can’t succeed here.
Resolution Games also points out that VR is moving toward a service model, and you can see this with two of its hits, Blaston and Demeo. A online dueling shooter, Blaston just launched the Crackdown update in late June. Demeo’s Realm of the Rat King module also came out in late June. Both are free updates.
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So it makes sense that Resolution would seek funding now, as it gets deeper into “games-as-a-service.”
“We have been mulling over a Series C round for quite a while now — even though we have been profitable the last few years. We were fortunate enough to be able to take our time and really search near and far for investors that share our beliefs and goals. Now seemed to be the perfect time given our quick growth over the past year and our plans for expansion in the future,” said Resolution CEO and cofounder Tommy Palm over email. “This will allow us to not just keep the momentum going, but to accelerate it and really double down on VR and AR, while securing our position in a way that allows us to innovate and take larger steps forward – not only for ourselves, but for the industry as a whole.”
A healthy niche
Palm also cited the Oculus Quest 2’s success and VR’s growth in Asian markets as reasons to for this fundraise.
“We’re also seeing incredibly healthy signs in the industry. Not only is there now a benchmark device that’s fit for the mainstream in the Quest 2, but it’s clear more big players are entering the space or taking more steps to compete with hardware,” Palm said. “More global markets like China, Japan, [South] Korea, and elsewhere are showing positive growth signs in their use of VR and innovations across VR and AR hardware. There’s also more VR users entering the market than ever — as seen with growth in downloads across nearly all our titles. We’ve also seen one of our titles exceed $1 million in revenues in just a week. Most importantly, we’re seeing more players, playing more often and for longer periods of time.”
Palm said Demeo is Resolution’s fifth game to surpass $1 million in sales (it’s sold over $2 million now), but he wouldn’t give a precise number of copies the studio has sold. Demeo costs $30. But Palm did say that “beyond sales, we’re even more pleased to see the reception from VR enthusiasts and tabletop RPG players alike. It’s clear that Demeo fills a gap, and we’re excited to see so many players enjoying the game. The game is not only beating revenue numbers, but has also blown away records for time spent, retention, and more. We’re seeing many players spending two hours on average per session.”
Resolution will use the funding for, among other things, building up its resources for supporting games like Blaston and Demeo.
“As the industry is shifting more toward a games-as-a-service model — or live games — part of the funds will be used to build up the teams to support such a model,” Palm said. “We already have seven teams working on projects in tandem, but live games require more ongoing support and fresh content than a game that is just shipped when it’s complete. We are looking forward to helping the industry evolve toward that model so VR users get more value from their games.”
Even if VR is a niche right now, it’s still good for Resolution to be a growing fish in a small but growing pond.
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