Nathan Burba, CEO of Survios, is quoted on the company’s About page as saying that the Survios team sees “gaming as an art form. And we don’t just want to make games more immersive — we want to make them more human”. Immersion is the buzzword of buzzwords in the VR industry, reflecting the unique promise of virtual experiences like no other word can. However, seeking to make games “more human” takes it to another level.
For such an ambitious ideal, a company needs a great deal of funding behind them as they create and experiment on their way to that goal. Luckily, Survios has that. The company announced that their B and C rounds of funding have supplied them with $50 million of capital. The latter was led by a major media company: MGM. I spoke with Survios CEO Nathan Burba to get a bit more information on these new developments.
Survios as a company was birthed when Project Holodeck was created in 2012, a story we dug deeper into in a previous hands-on with their game Raw Data; they continue to research and develop new ideas in the VR industry. Raw Data is one of the few VR games we’ve confirmed have earned over $1 million in sales.
MGM, once one of the largest film studios in the world, is certainly a significant name to have in your corner for funding so it’s no surprise they pulled in such an amount. MGM CEO Gary Barber will also be joining the Survios board, so this is just the beginning of a potentially very fruitful relationship.
With $50 million on the table, Survios is expanding development of the projects they’re working on including their cross-platform compatibility and also bringing in more talent. A more significant endeavor is also in the works that could ripple out further into the VR industry as a whole.
“We are starting to build a publishing program where we not only want to help expand our industry by developing content ourselves,” Burba explains, “we want to have the potential to work with outside content partners as well.”
When discussing funding, I asked Burba the meaning behind his quote about making “more human” games.
“What that means is we like to develop something that has a lot of the different hallmarks of real life whether it’s more complex simulation systems or better production value or multiplayer,” he said. “Only through this kind of full body experience that’s fully interactive and immersive do you get something that feels more human and isn’t just a gimmick. We really like to create the highest quality content…Active VR as we like to call it.”
Many interesting things will likely come from this funding and, hopefully, Survios will be able to break ground and deliver “more human” gaming experiences.