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Weta Workshop opens new specialist mixed reality development studio

New Zealand-based studio is developing own IP for Magic Leap One

After seven years in the making, New Zealand-based Weta Workshop has today officially opened its newest facility.

Weta Gameshop, a specialist mixed reality development studio, will be dedicated to developing new content for the Magic Leap virtual retinal display headset.

The brand-new facility was opened earlier today by New Zealand prime minister and minister for arts, culture and heritage, Jacinda Ardern. She was accompanied by Weta Workshop founders Richard Taylor, Tania Rodger, and Weta Gameshop's 50 staff.

"Their ground-breaking partnership with Magic Leap is another feather in the cap for Weta Workshop whose creativity crosses so many different fields," said the prime minister. "It's also an example of Kiwi creators and innovators being sought out for their talent and fresh approaches.

"I congratulate Richard Taylor and Tania Rodger and their talented team on their achievements and wish them all the best for the delivery of their new game, which I had the privilege to test drive in a private demonstration."

Located in Wellington, the new division is working on a flagship title for the Magic Leap One - Dr. Grordbort's Invaders - which is being co-producer by Weta Workshop and Magic Leap.

The two companies have been working in close partnership to build mixed reality experiences. Magic Leap's spatial computing platform, which aims to "seamlessly blend the digital and physical worlds", will be released in 2018.

Weta Gameshop's executive producer Hayley Gray added: "Our team has been developing on the Magic Leap platform longer than anyone else which has given us a unique view into the potential of this new technology.

"It has been a huge opportunity to work collaboratively with our Magic Leap partners and build a team of experts from the ground up with Weta Workshop and Magic Leap DNA, while also getting to tell stories and bring characters to life - this time in the real world - for the first time."

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Ivy Taylor: Ivy joined in 2017 having previously worked as a regional journalist, and a political campaigns manager before that. They are also one of the UK's foremost Sonic the Hedgehog apologists.
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