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Resolution Games raises $25M on heels of Demeo’s success

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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.

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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Source: https://venturebeat.com/2021/07/14/resolution-games-raises-25m-on-heels-of-demeos-success/

AR/VR

Varjo XR-3 Hands-on: Varjo’s Headsets Keep Getting Better, Even as They Get Cheaper

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By now it can be said that Varjo is making the world’s most high-end VR headsets, and not just because they’re slapping on a hefty price-tag. With a core premise of ‘retina resolution’ that really delivers, Varjo’s headsets keep getting better even as they’re getting cheaper. Their visual performance offers an early glimpse of what mainstream VR headsets are unlikely to deliver for years to come.

We’ve been following Varjo since even before the launch of their first VR headset. Every time we’ve glimpsed a new headset from the company, there’s been clear progress in their mission to deliver the sharpest visuals of any VR headset. Varjo’s latest headset, the XR-3, is no exception.

During a meeting with the company in Silicon Valley I got fairly extensive hands-on time with the XR-3, both with its VR and AR capabilities. Despite being its least expensive headset yet, it’s also clearly the company’s best so far.

Photo by Road to VR

Cheaper but Not Cheap

Granted, the company’s headsets are far from anything you’d call affordable. At a whopping $5,500 (+$1,500 annually), XR-3 is the high-end of the high-end. But it’s a steal compared to the prior Varjo XR headset which cost $10,000 (+$1,000 annually). Meanwhile, the VR-3 (the model without advanced passthrough or inside-out tracking) has come down to just $3,200 (+$800 annually).

A Better Bionic Display

All of Varjo’s headsets make use of what they call the ‘bionic display’ system which makes use of a large ‘context display’ for a wide field-of-view, with an overlapping ‘focus display’ for true retina resolution (60+ PPD) at the center of the view. That’s two displays for each eye.

Image courtesy Varjo

The company’s earliest prototypes proved that the company’s unique display system really could deliver retina resolution at the center of the image, but it came with a handful of caveats. I used to have to make mockups (like this) to make it clear to people that only the very center of the display was retina quality and that the boundary between the focus display and the context display was quite apparent.

Varjo’s headsets have gotten better about this over the years, and on the XR-3, the boundary between the focus display and the context display is nearly invisible. This is thanks not only to better blending between the displays, but also because the lower fidelity context display (which provides the wide field-of-view) itself has been boosted in resolution significantly over previous models. Even if the XR-3 didn’t have a focus display for retina resolution at the center of the image, the resolution of the context display alone (2,880 × 2,720) exceeds something like the Vive Pro 2 (2,448 × 2,448).

It’s thanks to this boost in resolution that moving your eyes away from the focus display no longer brings an obvious reduction in quality. This makes it feel much more natural to look around with your eyes in XR-3, whereas on earlier headsets it could feel like you had to train yourself not to let your eyes wander from the center of the field-of-view. This pairs nicely with an expanded overall field-of-view compared to the prior version of the headset, which jumps from 87° to 115°, according to Varjo.

In practice, donning the headset reveals a higher fidelity view than I’ve seen in any other VR headset to date. The center of the field-of-view is truly ‘retina resolution’—the screen-door effect is non-existent and there’s not a hint that the center of the image is even made of pixels.

Photo by Road to VR

While the fidelity of the image is truly world class, there is one notable issue that kept me from being lost in it entirely. On XR-3 I noticed a surprising amount of pupil swim, which makes the image look wobbly as you move your head around, especially when you lock your eyes onto an object in the scene and continue to move your head. The effect was bad enough that I expect it will cause discomfort to some users who are very sensitive to motion sickness.

I don’t know the exact cause of the pupil swim on XR-3. It could be inherent in the lenses, or it could be a calibration issue. And while I didn’t have the company’s other headsets to go side-by-side with, I don’t recall noticing it so clearly on prior models. Hopefully it’s something that can be fixed.

Continue on Page 2: Passthrough AR & Ergonomics »

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Source: https://www.roadtovr.com/varjo-xr-3-hands-on-display-field-of-view-passthrough-ar/

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AR/VR

‘Garry’s Mod’ Sequel ‘s&box’ Details Initial VR Support

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S&box is an in-development sandbox game designed as a sequel to the legendary Garry’s Mod (2006), a game that turned Valve’s Source Engine into a multiplayer playground and content creation tool which has spawned games, memes, and machinima. In a recent s&box development update, the studio says it has validated VR rendering for the game as a “first step” toward full support.

Released way back in 2006, Garry’s Mod is still a massively popular multiplayer sandbox game that allows players to create and share content built with a combination of in-game tools and modding extensibility. Conceptually it’s similar to something like Roblox or Rec Room, where players have significant flexibility in building their own universe of fun things to do together. The game still finds itself regularly among the 100 most popular games on Steam.

The Garry’s Mod development studio, Facepunch, is also behind a little-known game called Rust (2018), which has become a phenomenon in its own right.

Creator Garry Newman has been pondering a sequel to Garry’s Mod since at least as far back as 2015. And while development has been on-and-off over the years, things have picked up considerably since 2020, with Newman and other developers at the studio posting detailed updates on the game’s development, now called s&box. The Facepunch team says its goal is to “create a worthy Garry’s Mod sequel.”

In the latest s&box development update released earlier this month, developer Sam Pavlovic says he worked to ensure that the game’s rendering would handle VR correctly.

“I fixed VR rendering, since starting the project we had worked a lot on improving some rendering flexibilities for Source 2 and adapting it to work for what we want but never validated for VR until now. Getting VR in a good state has always been a concern for us and I’m glad now that I’ve tackled the initial work to have it supported,” he wrote.

Pavlovic admits that proper rendering for VR is only the first step in truly adding ‘VR support’ to the game. For now that means it’s pretty much a ‘see-only’ experience, but going forward he notes that the work “opens the door for us to experiment with [VR] and build something that everyone could enjoy and build upon.”

The post ‘Garry’s Mod’ Sequel ‘s&box’ Details Initial VR Support appeared first on Road to VR.

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Source: https://vrarnews.com/details/garrys-mod-sequel-sandbox-details-initial-vr-support-6102036e5c513a2307380e97?s=rss

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AR/VR

‘Garry’s Mod’ Sequel ‘s&box’ Details Initial VR Support

Published

on

S&box is an in-development sandbox game designed as a sequel to the legendary Garry’s Mod (2006), a game that turned Valve’s Source Engine into a multiplayer playground and content creation tool which has spawned games, memes, and machinima. In a recent s&box development update, the studio says it has validated VR rendering for the game as a “first step” toward full support.

Released way back in 2006, Garry’s Mod is still a massively popular multiplayer sandbox game that allows players to create and share content built with a combination of in-game tools and modding extensibility. Conceptually it’s similar to something like Roblox or Rec Room, where players have significant flexibility in building their own universe of fun things to do together. The game still finds itself regularly among the 100 most popular games on Steam.

The Garry’s Mod development studio, Facepunch, is also behind a little-known game called Rust (2018), which has become a phenomenon in its own right.

Creator Garry Newman has been pondering a sequel to Garry’s Mod since at least as far back as 2015. And while development has been on-and-off over the years, things have picked up considerably since 2020, with Newman and other developers at the studio posting detailed updates on the game’s development, now called s&box. The Facepunch team says its goal is to “create a worthy Garry’s Mod sequel.”

In the latest s&box development update released earlier this month, developer Sam Pavlovic says he worked to ensure that the game’s rendering would handle VR correctly.

“I fixed VR rendering, since starting the project we had worked a lot on improving some rendering flexibilities for Source 2 and adapting it to work for what we want but never validated for VR until now. Getting VR in a good state has always been a concern for us and I’m glad now that I’ve tackled the initial work to have it supported,” he wrote.

Pavlovic admits that proper rendering for VR is only the first step in truly adding ‘VR support’ to the game. For now that means it’s pretty much a ‘see-only’ experience, but going forward he notes that the work “opens the door for us to experiment with [VR] and build something that everyone could enjoy and build upon.”

The post ‘Garry’s Mod’ Sequel ‘s&box’ Details Initial VR Support appeared first on Road to VR.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://vrarnews.com/details/garrys-mod-sequel-sandbox-details-initial-vr-support-6102036e5c513a2307380e97?s=rss

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AR/VR

Zuckerberg says Facebook’s Ray-Ban smart glasses are coming soon

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If you’ve been anxiously awaiting Facebook’s smart glasses, we have some good news for you: They’re slated to be the company’s next consumer device.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg confirmed the news on Wednesday during Facebook’s second quarter earnings call, while providing some insight on the company’s upcoming product cycle.

“Looking ahead here, the next product release will be the launch of our first smart glasses from Ray-Ban in partnership with EssilorLuxottica,” he said.

While Zuckerberg didn’t provide any specifics regarding a timeframe for release, he did state that the device will look just like regular glasses. The Facebook CEO went on to explain that “the glasses have their iconic form factor and they let you do some pretty neat things.”

We’re not exactly sure what those “pretty neat things” will be as far as features and specs go. But that’s not stopping Facebook from hyping the product as an instant “classic.”

Tweet may have been deleted

Last year, the social media giant told The Verge “that the device will not be classified as an Augmented Reality (AR) device, and it will not have an integrated display of any kind.” That report goes on to note that the glasses may look similar to Snapchat’s Spectacles or Amazon’s Echo Frames — both of which blend in fairly well with everyday attire.

That earlier statement echoes Zuckerberg’s last words on the subject during Wednesday’s call. Before moving on to other topics, the CEO said he was “excited to get [the smart glasses] into people’s hands and to continue to make progress on the journey towards full augmented reality glasses in the future.”

While these “smart glasses” aren’t considered to be full AR, the project is still part of Facebook Reality Labs (FRL) — the company’s R&D outfit for XR technologies. So, any data and feedback gathered by these smart glasses could help contribute to Project Aria, the lightweight AR glasses Facebook is currently testing.

It remains to be seen when exactly in 2021 Facebook plans on launching these Ray-Ban glasses. But considering we’re more than halfway through the year already, it’s likely the company will release them very soon — perhaps in time for the holiday season.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
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Source: https://vrarnews.com/details/zuckerberg-says-facebooks-ray-ban-smart-glasses-are-coming-soon-6101fb0d08964e0305e3dd17?s=rss

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