Hollywood’s love affair with VR continues.
VR game maker Survios announced today that it has raised $50 million over a pair of funding rounds, a good chunk of which comes from MGM, who led one of the two rounds, with Lux Capital leading the other. Shasta Ventures, Danhua Capital, Shanda Holdings, Felicis Ventures and Dentsu Ventures also participated in the rounds.
The company was rather hush as to the terms of the deal, especially regarding MGM’s participation, only noting that the partnership puts Survios “in a position to achieve our goal of becoming the leading publisher and content creator in Virtual Reality.” MGM CEO Gary Barber will take a spot on the startup’s board as a result of the investment.
In 2015, MGM invested in interactive video startup Interlude, which lets users influence the outcomes of the stories they are viewing.
Hollywood sees virtual reality as an opportunity to bring premium viewing and arcade-style experiences back into a theater-like setting as video-on-demand and streaming services continue to gain in popularity while fewer viewers make their way to the big screen.
High-end virtual reality systems retail for roughly $1,000 and up. Survios’s title, Raw Data, runs on the HTC Vive, a device that retails for $799 and requires a high-end gaming computer to run. Consumer headset adoption has been slower than some analysts expected as prices remain high for some of the most recognizable systems.
“We definitely want to see location-based entertainment networks expand as much as possible,” Survios CEO Nathan Burba told TechCrunch. “That’s a very important way to introduce people to the medium and then to be able to generate extra revenue on top of the retail releases we’re doing.”
Survios’s title Raw Data has been one of the fastest grossing VR titles to date, earning more than $1 million in revenue in the month of its launch on the Steam store for the HTC Vive. The studio detailed that this funding will, among other things, allow the company to bring the title to more platforms and expand the broader universe of the title.