Sinn Studio raises $2.5M for real-time PvP VR combat game

Sinn Studio, a studio dedicated to XR games, announced it has raised $2.5 million in funding to make a real-time player-versus-player VR combat game.

Leveraging groundbreaking spatial computing technologies, the Toronto, Canada-based studio is making a free-to-play title driven by its proprietary Combat Engine, said Alex Sinn, CEO of Sinn Studio, in an interview with GamesBeat.

Hartmann Capital led the funding round, with contributions from Boost VC, Republic, Alumni Ventures, Mana Ventures, MetaVision, and a number of industry angels such as Chris Ye of Uken Games.

Sinn Studio Swordsman game.

Sinn Studio’s game is supported by an innovative Large Intent Model (LIM), a neural network specially designed to discern and learn from the intricate subtleties of human motion during combat. The company said this helps solve some of the industry’s most complex challenges in spatial computing.

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“We spent seven years surviving the ups and downs of VR as a bootstrapped company, waiting for that industry-defining moment, and the right partners to commit to our first fundraise,” said Sinn. “Today, we’re incredibly grateful to Hartmann Capital and everyone else who joined our seed round for their belief in our mission to redefine the future of combat in this exciting new era of spatial computing. The technology we’re building will power incredible first-party combat experiences, and one day, our favorite IPs.”

Sinn Studio founders

Felix Hartmann, managing partner of Hartmann Capital, has joined the board. He said in a statement, “Virtual Reality transforms experiences beyond the capabilities of traditional 2D screens. Combat, both a fundamental aspect of human competition and one of its oldest sports, is poised for a groundbreaking evolution in VR. Sinn Studio is at the forefront of this transformation and is setting the stage for immersive combat to become a pivotal part of both sports and cultural landscapes.”

Sinn Studio has already had a hit with Swordsman, acclaimed as a “Most Popular Game” of 2023 on Meta Quest and a top 10 best seller on PlayStation VR.

“We started fundraising at the end of September 2023, and there was plenty of skepticism around the market. The Meta Quest 3 had not launched, nor had the Apple Vision Pro. But it helped that the company already had a sustainable business. And it helped that VR was more in the blue ocean, rather than the red ocean of the core of the game industry.

“What is validating is that XR is really strong with the age group of 13 to 17,” Sinn said. “They really take to it. It’s also growing in the age range of 18 to 24. That’s a really positive indicator.”



Sinn was interested in animated films as a teenager and went to film school. He became fascinated with virtual reality, but mainly for making linear films or 360-degree concerts. Then he gravitated to VR games because it was more like a blue ocean, where “nobody really knew what they were doing.”

He added, “It was a completely new frontier. That was when we started the company.”

He started the company in 2017 and he learned how to use the Unreal game engine. Almir Brljak joined him as COO. He also had a non-traditional path, as he left college to start a construction business and built it to 15 people. Sinn invited him over to check out VR and Brljak was hooked. He pitched Sinn on being the business side of the company and Sinn agreed.

The team launched three products from 2017 to 2019. They were moderately successful and then began work on Swordsman in 2019. By the time they launched it in September 2020, they had just a couple of thousand dollars in the bank.

“It was either going to work or we were going to close down the company. We were both drained of cash,”

Luckily, it was a hit. It became of the best-selling games of all time on PlayStation VR. Then they had to start scaling up the company and hired their first employee in October 2020.

“We honed in on that combat expertise,” Brljak said. “We want to be combat experts in spatial computing. That was our goal, whether it’s in content or technology. That’s what the genre that we wanted to own.”

Growing Swordsman

They took Swordsman to the Meta Quest in August 2023. Now there are more than 30 people on the team. They grew carefully based on their own cash growth. Then they finally decided to raise money — at a time when it was hard to do so because of rough seas in gaming. Still, the company is profitable.

“We can take risks and accelerate. And we need more support internally,” Sinn said. “We’re working on a free-to-play PvP game. Real-time melee combat. It’s all of the hardest things to put together in a product.”

The company has working prototypes that show it is possible, even with latency at 100 milliseconds.

“We’ve really nailed that down. And it’s generally something that studios have shied away from, as it’s just way too big a risk,” Sinn said.

The Large Intent Model is aimed at making the combat more intuitive and impactful, using AI as part of a tech stack that makes it possible to do physics-based real-time PvP combat. The player should feel a sense of freedom in combat against another human trying to kill them, Sinn said.

“There are a lot of things that go into crafting the experience,” he said. “We’re excited about this because it doesn’t exist yet.”

The game could go into open early access by the end of the year. They’re targeting multiple platforms such as Quest, Steam VR and PlayStation. They expect to do cross play.


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