VR game ‘Peaky Blinders: The King’s Ransom’ to launch in 2022

Digital entertainment studio Maze Theory and global distributor and content creator Banijay have announced the launch of the first virtual reality game inspired by BAFTA-winning drama Peaky Blinders in 2022. The deal was made in collaboration with Peaky Blinders’ official brand and series owner and series producer, Caryn Mandabach Productions.

Peaky Blinders fans and VR enthusiasts can – for the first time – infiltrate the Peaky Blinders underground world, coming face-to-face with much-loved and much-feared characters such as Tommy Shelby (voiced by Cillian Murphy) and Arthur Shelby (voiced by Paul Anderson), as well as host of other brand-new characters. Dramatic cinematic moments put players at the heart of a deep and memorable story, where they will navigate tense and dangerous situations and make meaningful and complex moral choices.

Ian Hambleton, Maze Theory CEO, says: “At Maze Theory, we’re committed to pushing the boundaries of entertainment and creating highly innovative fan and gaming experiences. We’re very excited to be giving fans and VR enthusiasts access to the Peaky Blinders’ world, transporting them back to 1920s Birmingham and putting them in iconic locations such as The Garrison and Charlie’s Yard.”

Lex Scott, Commercial Director, Gaming & Gambling, Banijay Brands, comments: “With huge anticipation for the upcoming series, the Peaky Blinders brand is stronger than ever, and this is a fantastic addition to its extensive portfolio. Peaky Blinders: The King’s Ransom is an exciting, authentic, and totally unique game that takes the immersive experience for fans to a whole new level.”

The multi award-winning BBC One series is produced by Peaky Blinders’ official series and brand owner, Caryn Mandabach Productions, and co-produced with Banijay’s Tiger Aspect Productions. Series 1 to 5 are available on BBC iPlayer and Netflix. Peaky Blinders is distributed by Banijay Rights and has sold in more than 183 countries and is widely available internationally on Netflix including in the U.S.

The Peaky Blinders brand enjoys international success across multiple categories including gifting, live experience, apparel, accessories and essentials. Officially licensed products are proving a hit with consumers and retailers, with over 40 licensees across multiple territories.




Peaky Blinders and Doctor Who game developer Maze Theory expands into US with new leadership team

The London-based digital entertainment studio, Maze Theory, has expanded its leadership team as it breaks into the US and continues to grow operations on a global scale. The firm, the name behind the development of the Peaky Blinders and Doctor Who VR titles, has grown by 30 per cent since March this year.

The digital entertainment industry veteran Phil Greenspan will lead the studio’s US venture, while in the UK, the outfit has welcomed Mark Ripley and Steven Huckle to leadership roles, as well as made an additional 11 new hires across the global business.

New hires come from a range of disciplines and backgrounds with a combined experience across the worlds of gaming, TV and film, further strengthening the company’s commitment ‘to deliver innovative, immersive and exciting storytelling across multiple platforms and devices.’

Greenspan has been named Maze Theory’s executive producer and will be based in Los Angeles, where he will use his expertise in VR and game development to oversee the development of Peaky Blinders: The King’s Ransom, Engram, and Maze Theory’s new multi-tech Doctor Who titles.

HE will work to grow the presence of Maze Theory within the US, developing new strategic alliances and representing Maze Theory’s growing portfolio.

Greenspan has produced AAA and indie video games for more than a decade. Beginning at Activision on the Guitar Hero franchise, he assisted CEO Bobby Kotick through the Activision Blizzard merger. After a stint making indie games, he founded the Oculus Kickstarter and joined the company to develop and manage the Oculus Store. Following this, Greenspan set up to support developers directly and subsequently met Maze Theory.

Meanwhile, Mark Ripley has been appointed as technical director having been at the forefront of game development for 40 years. A veteran gaming consultant, he has developed or produced more than 150 games; including brands such as Harry Potter, The Sims, Pirates of the Caribbean, Final Fantasy and Crash Bandicoot, for clients including BMW, Sony, EA, Disney, BBC, Channel 4, Samsung and Vodafone, as well as many original and self-published games.

Dr Steven Huckle has been appointed as art director. He is an award winning expert and Creative England Top 10 Future Leader. After making games in the late ’80s, Huckle began his career working on the cult classic TV show Knightmare before joining companies such as Sensible Software, Core Design and Jagex on numerous titles including Sensible Soccer, Tomb Raider, FIFA, Need for Speed, BAFTA nominated The Sims and the Transformers franchise.

They join Maze Theory’s Russ Harding, who has recently been promoted to Studio Director and Joey To as Design Director.

Ian Hambleton, Maze Theory CEO said: “At Maze Theory, our ambition is to create a hybrid of creativity that goes way beyond traditional gaming.

“We are committed to pushing the boundaries of storytelling to create groundbreaking and compelling experiences for fans, gamers and entertainment lovers. All of these hires, with their diversity of backgrounds, experience, talent and outlook will help us do just that.”

Studio director, Russ Harding, added: “Our new leadership team possess a pedigree in gaming which speaks for itself. Our wider team hires bring a range of talent and expertise to provoke fresh thinking, new ideas and help us redefine the future of entertainment across multiple windows and devices.”