Weta Workshop go next level and create 'mixed reality' gaming experience

Gaming 20/03/2018

Having already conquered the film industry, Wellington's Weta Workshop is officially joining the gaming sector.

It opened its new facility Weta Gameshop on Monday at a launch attended by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

A team of 50 staff are developing a game like no other - a 'mixed reality' experience based on a retro science-fiction world, created by game director Greg Broadmore almost a decade ago.

Weta has teamed up with US company Magic Leap to create a unique headset technology that will blend the digital and physical worlds.

Mixed reality is like virtual reality but better, according to Weta Gameshop executive director Hayley Gray.

This is the actual game immersing itself in your real world," she told Newshub. "It's a game like no other has existed.

The new technology is so secret that it's hidden behind closed doors, and you have to be the Prime Minister to get in to see it.

Ms Ardern didn't give much away.

"I think that this has the chance to change everything," she said of the technology. "It's not just games development - much more broadly, the impact will be huge."

Mixed reality removes the need for screens - every kind of information or entertainment you would get from a screen is right in front of you.

It's revolutionary even for Sir Richard Taylor, the man that helped to bring Middle Earth to our screens.

"This is a rocket ship for the mind," he says. "This is truly as brain-expanding as anything I've encountered in my life."

The new technology and game will be released later this year.