Improbable, the London-based startup that’s responsible for creating SpatialOS, has released its accounts to Companies House, and the news is not good. The company is reporting £63.7M (approximately $81M USD) in operating losses. That’s a rise of 65% from this time last year, when operating losses were £38.5M (about $49M USD).
While revenue for Improbable did rise to £1.2 million, research and development costs of £17.4 million and administrative expenses of £47.6 million accounted for the loss. The company attributes its “strategic focus on growth” as the factor for the numbers, pointing out that an increased headcount over the course of the year and operation expansions in Canada added to operating expenses, as well as commercial traction in its defense-based offering, which prompted investment in growing Improbable’s London and Virginia branches.
In spite of these losses, Improbable appears assured that it’s playing the long game. A spokesperson says the company “remains confident that [it has] the resources to deliver on our strategy” and that the accounts “do not reflect the major changes to the company which took place in the nine months since [they] were closed.” This perhaps alludes to Improbable’s introduction of SpatialOS tech to China along with all of its other expansions. Improbable has also received investment from other companies as well, such as $502M from Japanese telecom corp Softbank and $50M from Chinese MMO company NetEase.
SpatialOS, readers will recall, is the tech that helps bring massive worlds to life, promising high numbers of players and other entities with a strong sense of permanence. The most famous of the MMOs that ran on SpatialOS was Bossa Studios’ Worlds Adrift, which sunsetted in July 2019 — an event that the studio attributed to limited resources, shifting business priorities, and challenges with working in SpatialOS according to an interview, though problems with SpatialOS were pointed out to not be the largest contributor to Worlds Adrift’s end. Improbable was also a leading factor in the end of large-scale battle royale shooter Mavericks, where Improbable revoked funding for the title.