Candy Crush Saga guru gets record investment to make virtual gaming real

The $6 million bet on Resolution Games is Silicon Valley's largest yet on a company looking to create virtual reality games.

Max Taves
Max Taves Staff Reporter
Max writes about venture capitalism and startups while seeking out the new new thing to come out of Silicon Valley. He joined CNET News from The Wall Street Journal, where he contributed stories on commercial real estate, architecture, big data and more. He's also written for LA Weekly, Slate and American Lawyer Media's The Recorder, where he covered legal battles in Silicon Valley. Max holds degrees from Georgetown University and Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.
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Silicon Valley's High Priests of cash think the future of gaming will look a lot more like this. 68/Ocean/Corbis

Virtual reality is supposed to go prime time this year.

After all, over the next half year, a handful of tech giants such as Samsung, HTC and Facebook-owned Oculus all plan to release for mass consumption their own versions of headsets designed to immerse users in digital worlds imagined by software developers.

But the significance of this next generation of virtual reality headsets has been muted by a bigger question: Once they're ready to be sold, what will people actually be doing with them?

A $6 million bet on Resolution Games provides one answer: gaming.

On Wednesday, the Stockholm-based company led by one of the head creators of the popular games series Candy Crash Saga received the largest investment to date of any company looking to create virtual reality games, according to venture capital research firm PitchBook.

The investment, which was led by the venture capital arm of Google, comes amid Silicon Valley's growing obsession with virtual reality, particularly in gaming and entertainment.

Investment in virtual reality is exploding. Last year, venture capital spending on virtual reality-focused startups jumped by 530 percent to $660 million, per PitchBook. And so far this year, virtual reality startups have raised $107 million.

"VR is the next big gaming platform," Joe Kraus, general partner at Google Ventures, said in a statement. "The pace of development in VR will be very high over the next five years, with mobile VR at the forefront because anyone with a smartphone has the core of a VR experience already in their pocket."

Tommy Palm, the CEO of Resolution Games, said the company would be using the funds to pump out more games. Only one game -- Solitaire Jester -- is currently listed as complete on the company's rather surrealistic website. The company says it's working on a fishing game that will be ready early next year.

Before founding Resolution Games this year, Palm was an executive at King Digital Entertainment credited with playing a key role in the development of its Candy Crash Saga game series.