As a young boy, creating video games as a career seemed near-impossible for Bobby Thandi. But now, as the Founder of XR Games, he is bringing those dreams to reality for himself and others. Here, he discusses how the business now occupies a coveted place on a global stage.
XR Games, established in 2017, has built a reputation as a leading specialist in full scale immersive augmented reality [AR] and virtual reality [VR] content, alongside games for PC, mobile and console, and works with some of the biggest brands in global technology.
Its delivery of Angry Birds Under Pressure in 2019 was a critical success. It was voted by the public as a TIGA Game of the Year 2019 Finalist and awarded ‘Best for Entertaining the Kids’ by Forbes, alongside an array of other accolades. The game was credited with making VR more accessible to gamers of every level.
The project cemented Leeds-based XR Games’ relationship with Sony Pictures and enabled the creation of a new relationship with US giant Unity Software, which has led to XR Games becoming the first gaming studio in Europe, the Middle East and Africa to become a Unity Channel Partner.
Another major collaboration between Sony Pictures and XR Games has just been announced in Forbes, with the two collaborating on Zombieland VR, paving the way for the continued growth of the proud Yorkshire business and its 28-strong team. And considering the business is still in its infancy, a huge amount has been achieved in a very short time. Established with the support of Bobby’s then an employer Dubit, who gave him their backing alongside financial investment to achieve his gaming studio dream, Bobby built on his experience to earn the opportunity.
Since that initial investment, XR Games has gone on to receive more support, including help from Digital Enterprise. Being awarded a Digital Growth Voucher and Connectivity+ Voucher the company was able to invest in hardware and software, as well as improve its internet connection – technology vital to the running of the business and which helped XR Games expansion plans. “Through the funding we’ve received date we’ve been able to get involved in the development of some big VR and console games and there are lots more exciting projects in the pipeline,” says Bobby.
“The continuing demand for gaming, which have only increased during lockdown, has meant there is a lot of investor interest. We’ve been able to really step things up during lockdown with our seamless move to home working, which has allowed us to continue to work as we normally would, with only a skeleton staff in the studio. That hybrid model is very sustainable for us.”
As a business that needs to stay on top of developments in tech to ensure its reputation and place in the market continues to build, XR Games already has its eye on the next likely phenomenon in technology. Going forward, XR Games is certainly on an upward trajectory, and new opportunities to join the fast-growing business arise continually.
Having longed for such a career chance as a boy, Bobby is now proud to create these for other young people. And as someone who himself is living his dream, with his business growing on a global scale from his native Yorkshire, Bobby is proud that XR Games has been named in the Digital Enterprise TOP 100.
“I think it’s always nice to have some external validation for what you’re doing, and I think it’s very exciting the XR Games has been recognised. There is certainly a lot more to come from us and it’s very nice to be recognised at this stage of our journey” adds Bobby.
The XR Games case study was first featured in the Digital Enterprise TOP 100 2021 special report – access the report and interview here to read in full.
XR Games received support from Digital Enterprise 2.0. The programme was part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and closed on 30 June 2023.
Digital Enterprise 3.0 began on 1st July 2023 and is funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.
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