virtual reality headset

VR ‘Peaky Blinders’ game with breakthrough AI receives funding

A VR game based on the TV series ‘Peaky Blinders’ is being developed with UK government funding and supposedly features advanced AI technology.

Launching in 2020, the game will use AI so that in-game characters respond according to the players’ gestures, movement, voice, sound and body language.

The project is being led by London-based immersive VR studio, Maze Theory. The government is investing £33m to ensure the UK’s immersive technology sector “cements its place as a world-leader in film, TV and game productions for the future”.

The developers said players will enter the criminal world of the show’s urban street gangs and attempt to complete a covert mission to defeat a rival gang, while visiting famous locations from the show, including the Shelbys’ illegal betting shop and The Garrison pub.

The game is just one of 21 projects that will benefit from the funding. Other projects include one that will allow users of British Sign Language to enjoy personalised sign language displays at the theatre.

Business Secretary Greg Clark, who awarded the funding, said: “Success stories like Oscar-winning ‘Wallace And Gromit’ and Bafta-winning Peaky Blinders are part of the reason why our creative industries are truly world-leading – attracting audiences both here in the UK and internationally and helping create a sector already worth some £100bn to our economy.

“It’s why through our modern Industrial Strategy we’re investing to build on this huge global demand for UK creative content and ensure we lead the world in the next generation of entertainment.

“This backing will also give our home-grown talent the opportunity to lead the way in creating and using virtual and augmented-reality technologies, remain at the cutting edge and create thousands of highly skilled jobs.”

Maze Theory executive producer Russell Harding said he hoped this type of virtual-reality experience would become the “future of entertainment”.

“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,” he said.

“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 the future of entertainment.”

E&T recently looked at how virtual reality and augmented reality are being used in the medical profession to enhance surgical procedures and healthcare. 

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