In a recent livestream discussing Starbreeze AB’s Q2 report, 1st January – 30th September 2017, CEO Bo Andersson Klint and CFO Sebastian Ahlskog discussed the recent virtual reality (VR) partnerships the company had entered into and the future of Starbreeze’s involvement in the medium. Klint assured investors that despite a push for new hardware, Starbreeze remains committed to VR software development.
“We are investing in creating substantial value for our shareholders. In order to more clearly demonstrate our ambitions, we published new financial goals ahead of the listing on Nasdaq Stockholm,” explained Klint during the livestream. “One of our targets is to achieve revenues of at least SEK 2 billion in 2020, not including PAYDAY 3. The majority of the revenues will be generated by our own game development. We also see tremendous growth potential in a continued expansion of the publishing game portfolio, new platforms like VR and new geographical markets.”
When going into specifics relating to VR, the representatives of Starbreeze explained that partnering with a hardware manufacturer for StarVR allowed the company to dedicate more resources to developing software for that and other formats.
“The questions we are asked most often about our VR ventures is why we – a game company – should engage in hardware production and how we can compete with other tech giants. Starbreeze remains fully committed to its virtual reality expansion and the answer is twofold. One, we firmly believe virtual reality is one of the emerging techs that is here to stay and we aim to be one of the future key stakeholders in creating immersive experiences, now and in the future.
Secondly, we found that while the consumer market was alluring, the B2B market has great potential where we have an opportunity to take a strong position. Finding the right partner to bring the product to market has been key, and with our collaboration with Acer and through the creation of the StarVR joint venture, we’re well positioned to take market share in the B2B space.
We remain dedicated to our VR venture. We are looking to be smart about our investments and make sure we get maximum benefit from all of them. We have driven design and technical innovation within the framework of our VR partnership with Acer. The time is now right to gear up the investment in the joint venture company and get the headset onto the B2B market and into VR centers. This phase is capital intensive and Acer will be taking on a larger share of the financing and, accordingly, a larger stake in the joint venture.
With Acer as our strategic partner and with their financial muscle, we can focus our resources on our core business – content is still king.”
Starbreeze has of course just launched a beta testing phase for Payday 2 VR, which has been very well received by HTC Vive players. A future update to incorporate Oculus Rift is also expected, but no date has yet been given.