Leeds-based Games Studio Secures $1.5 Billion Investment

Leeds-based virtual reality games producer XR Video Games has received $1.5 million to expand its gaming portfolio and partnerships with other giants in the entertainment and video game industry.

The independent studio was created in 2017 and specialises in the creation of console and mobile virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) games for intellectual properties. The team has recently released the acclaimed movie Angry Birds 2VR: Under Pressure, and has previously worked for Disney, BBC, DreamWorks, PBS KIDS and Mattel.  

This investment will enable the start-up to develop new projects with Hollywood film studios and the creation of strategic partnerships with LA Production Company and other leading video game and media entertainment companies.

The studio also plans to expand its team by hiring six new members and moving its headquarters to the Kirkstall neighbourhood of the Leeds city by 2020. 

Founder and CEO Bobby Thandi believes in the successful future of VR, and wants to put his company at the centre of this new and growing competitive market by producing good-quality VR games. He said he wanted his business to become

“World-famous for working with Hollywood film studios and being known for great, fun, games”.

He is confident that the VR market will expand significantly due to the accessibility of VR games.

He added: 

“We believe XR is for everyone. If you think about VR you are essentially just doing real world movements. With a Sony Playstation game, my parents would never be able to do it because they wouldn’t understand all of the buttons etc. “Whereas with VR you put on a headset and are able to pick up an object as normal.”

The funding comes from the North West financial institution Praetura Ventures, which is committed to supporting businesses in Northern England. This is the company’s first investment in the Yorkshire and its seventh investment in the digital and creative sector.

Mr Thandi said:  

“We are incredibly excited about Praetura’s investment in XR Games. Not only do they share our vision for growth, they are committed to supporting our ambitions and can provide strategic support alongside an injection of capital.”

Mark Lyons, director of Praetura Ventures and new non-executive director of XR Video Games, described the VR market as a “multibillion-dollar industry set to grow significantly within the next five years and as technology continues to advance at a rapid rate” and declared that “XR Games is well placed to keep pace with this demand.”

The data published by MarketsandMarkets estimated that the VR market value was 7.9 billion in 2018 and forecast to reach 44.7 billion in 2024 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 33.5% over this period of time.

VR in the gaming industry is ranked first in North America, followed by Europe and Asia according to Market Watch. Main manufacturers on the market include Linden Labs, HTC, Sonni, Facebook and Samsung Electronics Co. 

Image: Business Leader Magazine