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Weta has been developing a Magic Leap game for the past six years

New Zealand developer talks about Dr. Grordbort’s Invaders

Promotional art for Weta’s work on Magic Leap

Following years of intense interest, secrecy, hype and fundraising, Magic Leap’s mixed reality system is coming in 2018. Now the company has confirmed at least one game.

Weta Gameshop has been developing Dr. Grordbort’s Invaders for the last six years. It’s based on a retro science fiction world devised by the company’s Greg Broadmore, who is also directing the game. The game was first teased in a promotional video back in 2015.

New Zealand-based parent company Weta is best known for creating computer generated effects and exotic physical props for movies like The Lord of the Rings, King Kong and District 9.

Now that the launch of the game and system are closing in — no actual dates have been released — Weta’s games division has expanded to 50 people, and has moved into an office separate from the rest of the company.

Dr. Grordbort’s Invaders began due to a friendship between Weta founder Richard Taylor and Magic Leap’s founder Rony Abovitz. The Weta studio includes various builds of kitchens and lounges, so that the game can be tested in situ.

“We’re making a game that exemplifies mixed reality and shows what the hardware can do,” said Broadmore, in an interview with Polygon. “But it’s also a developer surrogate. What do developers need to make great games? We’re doing R&D at the same time as building a game.”

Broadmore said the game is an “action comedy that takes place in your own home. A game based on ray-guns and rocket-ships, a satirical take on 1930s science fiction.” Although Weta personnel are doing the press rounds and talking about the game, there’s no sign of any screens or trailers. Broadmore said he’s working on “showing people stuff in the near future.”

We’ll have more on Magic Leap and on Dr. Grordbort’s Invaders as details emerge.