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Inside the office of a Stockholm virtual reality games developer

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Inside the office of a Stockholm virtual reality games developer
Resolution Games CEO Tommy Palm. Photo: Alex Dudley/The Local
10:49 CET+01:00
Resolution Games is leading the charge in the world of Virtual Reality gaming. The Local went to have a look around their Stockholm office and meet CEO Tommy Palm.

One of the first studios in the world to work solely with virtual reality (VR), the Swedish company focuses on introducing new and exciting VR titles that give the player the gaming experience of a lifetime by stepping inside the character itself.

VR gamers may have heard of their popular releases Wonderglade and above all Bait – the latter has had over two million downloads to date.

For everyone else, the studio's VR games work by either connecting a computer to a headset screen, or using a smartphone mounted on a headset which operate as the screen. The user then controls the game using a simple remote or two analogue sticks, one in each hand. 

Resolution Games was founded by Tommy Palm in 2015, after he left his previous position at King, the Swedish gaming giant behind global smash hit Candy Crush Saga.


Photo: Alex Dudley/ The Local

Reflecting on setting up the company and why he felt VR was the way forward, Palm explained: "This is my fifth start up so I have experience. It's important to grow organically, a little bit at a time. Myself and Martin (co-founder) have been making games for a long time and we've always been excited for when VR happens."

"In 2015, the platforms were limited, they still are now. We are still at the infant stage of VR and few people have a working headset. But it's getting better, in 2018 there will be the first stand alone headset that will expand the audience."


Photo: Resolution Games

When the company started up, they received a combined total of 50 million kronor ($6.35 million) in investments from Inter Alia, Google Ventures and the Banner Media Group, as all of the companies expressing an interest in being part of this new gaming world. Since then, Facebook has also joined the ever-growing list of companies going into business with Resolution Games. 

Noting the importance of getting ahead of the game, Palm stated: "We are software developers and it takes our production team nearly a year so we can't have a good game unless we go through the production cycle. So, we needed to start early."


Photo: Resolution Games

"It's all new and everybody is still learning and we have learnt a lot about what works well and what doesn't work, we've had a lot of failures."

Video games have always played a part in his life: "I'm passionate about playing games and now making games. It was always the natural next big step to go where you're actually inside the game world. I was fortunate to try VR very early on and I was blown away and I said it was the future."

Palm feels Resolution Games stands out from their competitors because of their attention to detail and ambition to always try something different: "A lot of companies are going for these cheap thrills where you are doing horror, which is extremely efficient, since your brain will immediately sense the danger. Whereas if you are going for more family friendly entertainment then you focus on just making a great game instead."


A screenshot from Bait. Photo: Resolution Games

The team at Resolution Games is perhaps not as large as you would expect, with 30 people employed to create graphics and animations along with other important features of the games.

"Combinations of talent, we have been very lucky in attracting really good people. The combination of gaming veterans and new talent straight from school with a lot of hunger for learning," Palm said glowingly about his team when explaining their effectiveness.

Whil the market for VR is still growing and new, the CEO thinks it is unique compared to the general smart phone gaming market: "It took ten years before there was actually a market (for smart phone games). VR is not like that because we are already making money, so there's already a market, even though it's small." 


Bait follow-up Bait, Arctic Open. Photo: Resolution Games

Resolution Games are hoping for another stellar year after a hugely successful 2017, with new release Narrows scheduled for February, which the team are hoping is going to be their most popular title to date. 

Palm has a clear idea of where the future of gaming will be, and even which market he believes will suffer as a result: "The smart phone games will be replaced eventually. There's no doubt in my mind that (traditional) screens will disappear but that's more like ten years in the future. You can see some consoles now releasing VR headsets."

Sony released their first PlayStation VR headset in late October 2016 and it has since become the best selling headset in the market, outselling rivals by over one million units.

Palm expressed no interest in breaking into the console market however when talking about his plans: "One thing which is new is we are starting to explore augmented reality (AR). The difference between AR and VR is with AR you see the real world and super imposed objects in it."

"We don't know much about it just yet so we are experimenting a lot with this. It's the main reason we will continue to focus on mobile VR."

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