It's been a good 2019 so far for Swedish virtual and augmented reality studio Resolution Games.
In the wake of Resolution Games’ latest hire - naming entrepreneur Patrick Draber as the firm’s new COO - we caught up with co-founder and CEO Tommy Palm to catch up on the company as it moves from strength-to-strength.
Palm, himself named Mobile Legend at the Pocket Gamer Mobile Game Awards 2019 this January, explains that getting an entrepreneurial business veteran like Draber on board is just the next step in helping Resolution grow.
“Patrik has an incredible amount of experience in helping companies both big and small get organised around processes,” said Palm.
“Resolution Games is at a point of ‘hyper-innovation’ and growth, so we needed someone to fill the role of COO that can really help drive how we organise around our business strategy and roadmap.”
Dreber’s hire comes at the end of a strong first half of 2019 for Resolution. The Swedish studio is on the up, going into the rest of the year with an increased headcount and a new office.
“We’ve experienced some great momentum so far in 2019 and have even grown our staff by more than 50 per cent and moved into a new office in central Stockholm," says Palm.
That strength is helping drive development, with new content planned for its mixed reality Angry Birds games and a new project, ACRON, preparing for launch this summer.
Resolution’s expansion and high-profile hire follows a successful Series B funding round last October - one that Palm believes has helped reassert the value investors still feel exists in the VR and AR development space.
Of course, it helps that Resolution’s mixed reality efforts have been helped by one of the biggest names in mobile gaming.
We’re focusing primarily on building our own IP right now, but we do have a few dream collaborations we may explore.Tommy Palm
Taking advantage of the tight-knit Nordic mobile development space, Palm explains that his team was able to quickly prove the power of VR to Angry Birds developer Rovio.
“We first started collaborating together around the launch of Angry Birds FPS: First Person Slingshot for Magic Leap," he says.
"However, given both companies are from the Nordics, many of us have relationships that go way back across the mobile games space.
“Once we were able to demonstrate our ability to take their IP to new platforms in a meaningful way, the relationship just grew from there.”
Now that Resolution has proven itself with propelled poultry, it’s looking to continue developing its own IP. But that doesn't mean future collaborations are off the table - with the potential for more to be announced “later down the road”.
“We’re focusing primarily on building our own IP right now, but we do have a few dream collaborations we may explore," says Palm.
Proof of concept
The future’s looking bright for Resolution right now, though much of its future success will of course depend on just how big the VR and markets can grow, and how soon they reach scale. But Palm has no trouble expressing confidence in the technology.
“This is a great time for VR and AR, and we are really excited about what we’ve seen from platform and hardware companies in terms of continually evolving to take us closer to more consumer-friendly devices," he says.
But Palm still sees challenges ahead for the immersive space - in particular, the VR sector has long struggled with convincing wider markets to take the plunge and strap on a bulky headset.
“For mass-market adoption to take place, VR/AR hardware has to be accessible and affordable to a mainstream audience while still performing at a level players expect," he explains.
"Now it’s time for content creators to step up and create compelling content that consumers will enjoy and want to come back to."
For that reason, Resolution Games is keeping a particular eye out on the new, standalone headsets like Oculus Quest. If VR experiences can come at a lower price-point and with fewer cables, Palm believes it could finally break into the mass market.
“In the near-term, we’re really looking forward to seeing how players will take to standalone VR devices like the Oculus Quest and how the portability and affordability aspects will impact mass adoption," says Palm.