The Rogue Initiative will focus on episodic games, films and TV shows built for virtual reality using Unreal Engine 4 and in partnership with Hollywood directors

Infinity Ward, Disney, DreamWorks and Sony execs form new VR production firm

A supergroup comprised of games, film and TV veterans has come together to create a new triple-A company dedicated to producing VR content.

The Rogue Initiative counts big names from Activision, Amblin Entertainment, DreamWorks Animation, Pixar, Disney, Sony Pictures, and MTV Films among its founding members, with Presence Capital and The VR Fund stumping up seed investment to get the project off the ground.

Working in partnership with Hollywood directors and utilising Unreal Engine 4, Rogue Initative aims to co-create and co-own game, film and TV projects for dedicated VR platforms such as PlayStation VR, Oculus, Vive and Gear VR, as well as traditional services including Netflix, Hulu and television.

The outfit’s first interactive VR and game projects are said to include a ‘big episodic action tentpole franchise’, a ‘psychological thriller’ and a ‘stylised animated action adventure’.

Among the co-founders is CEO Pete Blumel, who served as a key producer at Infinity Ward and helped led the creation of the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare series, as well as Call of Duty: Ghosts.

Joining him is production officer Cathy Twigg. Twigg holds nearly two decades of experience in film and animation, with past roles at Dreamworks Animation, Sony Pictures, NBC and MTV Films and credits on productions such as Kung Fu Panda, Shrek The Halls, Monsters vs Aliens, How to Train Your Dragon, Madagascar and Varsity Blues.

On the advisory board for The Rogue Initiative is are entrepreneurs Paul Bragiel, Amitt Mahajan and Phil Chen, plus Lynda Obst, the film and TV producer and author behind films including Interstellar, Contact, Sleepless in Seattle, The Fisher King and Flashdance.

“I’ve always loved finding ways of bringing Hollywood creatives together with triple-A video game developers,” said Blumel. “Virtual reality is another great catalyst in building that bridge.

“Our vision at The Rogue Initiative is to create a studio where the most successful storytellers and filmmakers from Hollywood collaborate side-by-side to create and develop new worlds and interactive experiences with the best and brightest from the video game and tech industries.

“We’re very fortunate to have built some amazing relationships with established filmmakers over the years, which have now culminated into various projects currently in production using Unreal Engine 4. We can’t wait to formerly announce these Hollywood collaborations soon.”

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