VR studio Maze Theory secures government grant to develop first Peaky Blinders VR game

VR studio Maze Theory has received government funding to develop a “fully immersive” virtual reality game based upon the TV series Peaky Blinders.

Expected to launch in 2020, the game will use artificial intelligence technology so in-game characters “will respond according to the players’ gestures, movement, voice, sound and body language”. This means players will be able to “interact and collude with much-loved characters in real time” in a “completely new gaming experience [that] immerses players in Peaky Blinders’ world in ways never done before”, ensuring each experience is different for each individual player.

“Players will come face-to-face with new and well-known characters, explore iconic locations in Small Heath, such as the Shelby’s illegal betting shop, and be able to raise a virtual glass of Irish whiskey in The Garrison Pub,” the press release states. “They will be immersed in Peaky Blinders’ world and the dramatic action that unfolds as the story progresses.”

Show creator Steven Knight said: “I’m really excited by the prospect of Peaky Blinders entering new territory. People who love the show will love the opportunity to immerse themselves in the world in such a total way.”

“This is Maze Theory’s first AI enhanced immersive drama and we are incredibly excited about the unrivalled and entirely new experience this gives players,” added Russell Harding, executive producer at Maze Theory. “They will literally be part of Peaky Blinders’ world and be able to interact with characters in ways no one can predict. Fans of the cult show have been calling out for this type of experience and we’re honoured to be giving it to them. This is future of entertainment!”

The news follows today’s announcement that the UK government has set aside £33 million to invest in 21 projects in the creative industries “to ensure the UK’s immersive technology industry cements its place as a world leader in film, TV and game productions for the future, remaining at the cutting edge of the latest technologies and creating thousands of highly-skilled jobs”.

The game is expected to release on all VR platforms in Q2 2020, the same year a different Peaky Blinders game developed by FuturLab and Curve Digital is also set to release. This different game – which is expected to launch in 2020 on console and PC – will be a “narrative action game inspired by the critically acclaimed, epic gangster drama”. The press release says it will be “a highly innovative, story-driven design” enabling players to control “all of their favourite characters” from the Peaky Blinders universe, which will also feature locations from the series.

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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