The UK Creative Content EIS Fund has invested in Maze Theory, a digital entertainment studio focusing on the creation and development of immersive entertainment experiences across multiple platforms, including Virtual Reality (VR), PC, Console and Mobile.
Maze Theory established its reputation with the launch of its first VR game – Doctor Who ‘The Edge of Time’, which launched in November 2019 for PlayStation (PSVR) and Oculus Rift headsets, before also launching on Oculus Quest headsets in January 2020. VR gaming has become more accessible given the advances in technology, alongside the availability of low, medium and high-end devices. The market is scaling rapidly, with significant growth experienced in both hardware and software.
The investment from the UK Creative Content EIS Fund will facilitate Maze Theory’s next phase for Doctor Who which, in 2021, will deliver a host of first-time fan experiences across multiple platforms, including PC, Console and Mobile. The investment will also help the development of their slate of projects, which include launching high-profile titles such as Peaky Blinders -The King’s Ransom and a feature length, narrative-based VR game called ENGRAM previously known as The Vanishing Act.
Maze Theory CEO, Ian Hambleton, says: “Maze Theory is evolving to the next level. We know from feedback that fans of shows like Doctor Who and Peaky Blinders crave new and exciting fan experiences across multiple devices and interwoven stories that create an overall experience far surpassing that of a single game.”
He adds: “The world is facing challenging times right now, but the gaming sector continues to be resilient in times of economic uncertainty. These investments and our new content initiatives enable us to grow our fanbase and drive our business forward. We remain as committed as ever to delivering brilliant gaming experiences.”
The Company’s expansion is made possible by an investment from the UK Creative Content EIS Fund in association with the British Film Institute (BFI). The BFI, as a charity, has no financial interest in the Fund, but initiated the project to help bring a new wave of investors in the UK creative content industry in order to grow dynamic and ambitious UK companies. The Fund is managed by leading EIS and VCT manager Calculus Capital, who launched the UK’s first approved EIS Fund over 20 years ago, with Stargrove Pictures, the film/TV finance specialists. This is the third investment by the UK Creative Content EIS Fund following the recent investment into Raindog Films, a production company co-founded by Oscar-winning actor Colin Firth and music veteran Ged Doherty. The Fund’s first investment was into Wonderhood Studios headed up by ex-CEO of Channel 4, David Abraham.
Maze Theory has also received a second grant (the immersive Technology Investment Accelerator) from the Government’s UKRI Audiences of the Future Programme, which also included a match funding investment from ViveX.
Alexandra Lindsay, Investment Director at Calculus Capital said, Maze Theory has an impressive team in place, with a proven track record of developing and launching successful games. Having identified the opportunity through our network, we were attracted by Maze Theory’s ability to secure high profile IP, resulting in a strong slate of reputable titles, each of which have high commercial capabilities. In addition, the team’s ability to develop games across multiple platforms provides the company with diversification and exposure to larger markets.
Our investments to date – across film, TV and now, gaming – underline the breadth of the content industry in the UK and our ability to build a portfolio of exciting companies within this growing sector.”