London-based Improbable claims it wants to be the “Google of simulation”, making it easier to build highly complex, simulated worlds – for example, recreating entire cities or creating virtual worlds.
Co-founded by Herman Narula and Rob Whitehead, both former hyperkinetic computer scientists from the University of Cambridge, the company launched its operating system SpatialOS in November 2015, providing the back end for multiplayer gaming.
The first game to be built on Improbable’s platform was Bossa Studios’ multiplayer game Worlds Adrift, which is due out later this year. However, the company is looking at a broader audience, as it believes simulated worlds can help solve problems in areas as diverse as defence, energy, city efficiency, health and finance. For example, economists from Oxford are using the technology to build scalable models of the UK housing market.
The company is largely funded by Andreessen Horowitz, the venture capitalist backers of Facebook, Twitter and Oculus Rift.