PlayStack and Maze Theory have announced Doctor Who: The Edge Of Time, a new, full-interactive virtual-reality game coming to PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Vive Cosmos in September 2019.
Starring new doc on the block Jodie Whittaker, The Edge Of Time “will transport fans into a globally-beloved world of aliens, mystery and wonder, letting them embark on a brand-new and fully-interactive adventure, inspired by the show’s 55-year history”.
According to the press release, players will be able to “solve mind-bending puzzles, grapple with classic monsters and encounter new horizons in a quest to find the Doctor and defeat a powerful force that threatens to destroy the fabric of reality”, armed with the iconic Sonic Screwdriver. They will face even the infamous Daleks plus brand new never-before-seen monsters as “they travel through stunning cinematic environments” and attempt to contain a deadly virus.
“VR is the perfect home for a truly immersive Doctor Who adventure,” said head of digital entertainment & games for BBC Studios, Bradley Crooks. “Fans and newcomers alike will be able experience the universe of Doctor Who like never before, working with the Doctor and facing enemies new and old. Gaming is a key part of the future of Doctor Who and allows us to tell new and exciting stories beyond the TV screen.”
“Maze Theory is committed to re-defining storytelling through awesome, innovative and immersive experiences in virtual reality,” added Maze Theory creative director, Marcus Moresby. “Doctor Who is an incredibly exciting and timeless franchise with a passionate and committed global fan base. We are looking to give them an entirely new experience; an opportunity to team-up with the Doctor and feel like they are in the show. This of course includes piloting the TARDIS, a dream come true for fans!”
“Virtual Reality is unmatched in its ability to transport people to far flung worlds. PlayStack has always seen this as the central promise of the technology, and for us there’s no better place to take players than the iconic, eccentric, and deeply fascinating world of Doctor Who,” said PlayStack CEO, Harvey Elliott. “We are delighted to be working with Maze Theory and the BBC Studios on this flagship VR project, and can’t wait for fans to experience the game for themselves.”
PlayStack describes itself as “a new breed of publisher” that brings world-class expertise “and a drive to support and promote innovative games from the next generation of game developers”. It also offers end-to-end funding, publishing expertise, and tech to build a strong gamer audience and has recently confirmed it is expanding into console and PC markets as part of its commitment to being platform-agnostic.
Since it was founded in 2016, PlayStack has assessed over 1500 games and worked with other 1000 developers. Along with Doctor Who: The Edge of Time, PlayStack confirms it has three further unannounced games to reveal – none of which will feature VR – and while it continues to focus on its 30 million-player wide mobile portfolio, it hopes to increase its PC/console output to 30 per cent of its business.
The BBC announced its ‘Gaming First’ initiative last year. Simply put, games at the Beeb have historically been licensed from TV properties, sitting alongside books, backpacks and pencil cases in this regard. The new initiative aims to elevate their status within the organisation, putting them on a par with other mediums. Beyond that, the BBC is now looking to games to be a leading light, a format that can create, revitalise and carry IPs to audiences that TV, for example, is finding it harder and harder to reach.
“When I arrived, we were going to do licensed games based on TV IP,” Crooks told MCV at the time. “But even in the time I’ve been here the media landscape changed rapidly and we found ourselves as a team quickly expanding our areas of interest, and innovating on how we put deals together, how we bring our IP to an interactive experience.”