Improbable: Virtuality as the Future of Gaming
Nothing drives a greater craze among fans of virtual worlds like refined gaming. Fans or not, virtual societies - games included - are going to define the way we connect, interact, and make the most of technology down the line. The latest virtual enhancements are expected to deliver a stellar revolution in the industry, so large that gaming duo Herman Narula and Rob Whitehead couldn’t resist having a go at it.
Following their childhood passion - to game for a living - Herman and Rob created Improbable, a unique platform that expands the horizons of traditional gaming.
Improbable is the ultimate genius gaming platform - it creates sophisticated multiplayer solutions for virtual gamers and offers them the chance to create worlds yet unseen and build societies yet unstructured.
Trusting the potency and potential of virtual technology, here’s how Herman and Rob’s Improbable managed to deliver profound gaming experiences for serious and enthusiastic players who nurture a special affection for designing realities different from ours!
Falling in Love with Gaming
Way before Herman and Rob found one another, they both led completely different lives.
Born in the late 80s, in India, Herman moved to the United Kingdom when he was a little boy. Being a prominent philanthropist, his stalwart mother was deeply dedicated to the fight for children’s rights and taught her son all core values of life - righteousness, determination, persistence, and courage. His father, on the other hand, ran a powerful construction business, called DSC Ltd, and as a result, was able to afford one of the most prestigious high schools for his son to attend - Haberdashers' Aske's Boys School.
While preparing Herman to inherit the family empire, his father wanted his son to explore all avenues of the construction business. However, as a careless high schooler, Herman would show up at work but instead of learning the ways of business, he would secretly play video games and code. As his passion grew, in 2009, Herman enrolled at Cambridge University to study computer science.
Meanwhile, Liverpool-born Rob had to work his way to Cambridge University all on his own, and he did so by developing iOS games using Tyro Tech Software as well as selling weapons for Second Life, a virtual world website.
Meeting for the first time during one of their classes, Rob and Herman immediately connected, especially in terms of their shared business ambitions. Unaware of what fate would bring along, the duo didn’t spend much time chit-chatting their plans but actually got to work and began developing a promising and virtual video game. Realizing the process was harder than it looked, the duo mainly struggled to develop software to help their game scale up.
Ultimately, it dawned on both Rob and Herman that the tech they were working on was far more important than the game itself. Once Herman informed his father of his gaming ambition, however, the businessman became deeply disappointed that his son didn’t want to contribute to the family business and even threatened to disown him. This rattled Herman very little as, in 2021, both he and Rob graduated from Cambridge with honors, and remained super-focused on making it big in the gaming universe.
Playing the Game
Fresh out of college, Herman and Rob made it their mission to solve previously unsolvable problems within the gaming world and introduce the multiplayer game concept.
To do that, they transformed a barn close to Herman’s family home into their office, and there they continued crafting their business idea for months on end. Realizing that they needed more staffers to complete a variety of different tasks, the entrepreneurs-to-be borrowed £20,000 from friends and family to use as paychecks.
With just enough knowledge on their belts, the newly composed team began working harder than ever, and yet, they still lacked crucial equipment to get their idea going. To men this issue, Herman borrowed a staggering $1.5 million from his family to help him launch the company he had always dreamt of.
Armed with financial support and a decent team, Herman and Rob managed to design their distributed simulation software intended for video games and launched Improbable in late 2012.
The next business step the team took the relocation of their offices - from Herman’s barn into a more sophisticated environment. They found their business haven in London, and the moment they moved in, their ambition to succeed burned even stronger. Not only would they focus on building Improbable they also planned to design yet another company platform.
Herman, a dedicated fan of the Matrix saga, decided to build a platform that bore similar concepts as the movie and delivered a superb virtual experience for all gamers.
Raising an incredible $20 million from Andreessen Horowitz, a private American venture capital firm, in 2014, Herman and Rob created SpatialOS, a platform intended to enable the creation of agent-based simulations and virtual worlds supported by their cloud.
With Improbable and SpatialOS’s grand entrance on the market, it was a matter of time before Google started taking notice of the tandem’s efforts and offered them to partner up and create even more gaming greatness.
Challenges to Overcome
For Improbable, partnering with Google Cloud Platform meant distributing its processing across numerous servers, which ultimately allowed the platform to boast far better graphics than its rivals, who mostly used a single server.
Herman and Rob did not stop at what they had achieved but continued working on perfecting their platform and managed to develop it to a stage where hundreds of game engines were created and worked alongside one another to deliver a mind-blowing and flawless virtual universe.
However, no good deed goes unpunished, and soon enough, the duo had its first fair share of business challenges. Just as the company began earning money, Herman and Rob realized that their gross profit was jeopardized by the extensive costs of production which exceeded their sales.
Reaching out to investors to save the company from sinking even deeper in the ocean of financial crisis, the duo eventually came across an angel that helped them get the company back on its feet. Softbank, a Japanese multinational conglomerate holding company, took interest in Improbable’s future and fortified it by pouring a ravishing £386 million into the company as a way to further revamp, boost and expand both its performance and potentials.
Despite the generous funding and improvements, customers didn’t hear about the platform until 2018. However, once the platform took off and gained the public’s recognition - circa 2019 - its revenue skyrocketed from £6 million to £9 million.
Nowadays, the company’s popularity and therefore, revenue, are still on the rise. With its headquarters still located in London, Improbable employs over 200 workers and plans on recruiting the most talented data and field engineers, as well as computer scientists and game programmers whose skills and visions can help design even more impressive virtual worlds for its players.
As one of the most sophisticated business gaming models the industry has seen, Improbable beats the odds of the ordinary and takes Herman and Rob on a mighty adventure of innovation and creation that allows players worldwide to perceive virtual worlds and communities in a manner never witnessed before!