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January 16, 2021
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  New Peaky Blinders VR Gaming Using AI Characters Coming 2020
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[This unedited press release is made available courtesy of Gamasutra and its partnership with notable game PR-related resource Games Press.]

Gamers, For First Time, Will Experience Human Like Character Interactions in New Peaky Blinders VR game


  • First ever Peaky Blinders virtual reality drama game launches in 2020 from new VR studio Maze Theory
  • New enhanced AI performance technology means players will interact and collude with much-loved characters in real time, driving their responses and influencing what happens next
  • This completely new gaming experience immerses players in Peaky Blinders’ world in ways never done before

Global content creator, producer and distributor, Endemol Shine Group, who represent a range of global ancillary rights for Peaky Blinders, in partnership with brand owner and producer Caryn Mandabach Productions and start-up immersive entertainment studio Maze Theory are proud to announce the BAFTA award-winning drama will be available in virtual reality Spring 2020.

This follows today’s announcement (Friday 26th April), by Government Business Secretary Greg Clark, that Maze Theory have been awarded funding from the Government’s Audience of the Future Programme to develop the game with new cutting-edge AI performance technology. For the first time characters will respond to players’ gestures, movement, voice, sound and body language and have human-like interactions.  Each player will have a completely individual experience.

A Caryn Mandabach Productions and Tiger Aspect Production for the BBC, Peaky Blinders was created and written by Steven Knight. The series, which is distributed by Endemol Shine International across more than 180 countries, has won multiple awards including the 2018 BAFTA for Best Drama Series and Best Drama at the 2019 National Television Awards.

Peaky Blinders’ fans and VR gaming enthusiasts can, for the first time, infiltrate the underground criminal world of the urban street gang. They will undertake a covert and unorthodox mission and defeat a rival gang.  

If successful with the mission, they will earn their cap and be a fully-fledged member of the Peaky Blinders, every fan’s dream!

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. They will be immersed in Peaky Blinders’ world and the dramatic action that unfolds as the story progresses.

The game will be available across all VR platforms from Spring 2020 and be localised for key territories across the globe.

Government Business Secretary, Greg Clark, says: “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 £100 billion 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.”

Russell Harding, Executive Producer at Maze Theory, says: “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. 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!”

Peaky Blinders 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.”

Anil Mistry, Director of Games & Gambling, Endemol Shine Group said, “This is a unique VR experience, developed with cutting edge technology, which will allow Peaky Blinders fans to totally immerse themselves in the world of the Shelby brothers. As we continue to explore exciting new ways for our audiences to enjoy their favourite show, this is a great addition to our growing Peaky Blinders games portfolio.”

Jamie Glazebrook, Executive Producer, Caryn Mandabach Productions said, “I couldn’t be more excited to see Peaky Blinders re-imagined as a VR Game and for our fans to have the chance to experience the series in this way.”

Editor’s Notes

Please note this is entirely separate from the Peaky Blinders narrative videogame announced in March.

About the Technology

Maze Theory in collaboration with Goldsmith’s University and Dream Reality Interactive are developing machine learning characters, capable of creating more intriguing and immersive user driven narrative experiences. These are influenced by, and directly responding to, the users natural social signals.

About Maze Theory

Maze Theory is the new start up immersive entertainment studio led by former Activision and Sony PlayStation veterans and London based creative agency Output Group. It is committed to re-defining story telling through awesome, innovative and immersive experiences in virtual reality.

The studio launched in April 2018. The leadership team comprise former Activision MD Geoff Heath OBE, former Sony PlayStation marketing director Mark Hardy, founder of Output Group Ian Hambleton, former Found Studio creative director Marcus Moresby and former Sony Playstation executive producer Russell Harding.

Since launch the studio has expanded its team further with several former PlayStation hires. It is currently developing soon-to-be-announced high profile projects with major IP partners, as well working on its own original VR gaming content.