Hollywood properties have been getting VR tie-ins frequently over the past few years, but now The Walking Dead is stepping things up with an entire series of virtual reality games. Skybound Entertainment, the production company co-founded by Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, announced this morning that it is partnering with Skydance Interactive to produce the titles.
While audiences are most familiar with the story of Rick Grimes, featured in both the comic series and the AMC television show, the first VR game will actually focus on a entirely different set of characters. It’s not clear if later games will bring in more familiar faces, but according to Skybound Interactive president Dan Murray, Kirkman’s comic will be the primary inspiration. There’s no projected release date or other specifics for any of the projects just yet, but the press release issued by both companies does state that the first game will let players experience the world of The Walking Dead “through an innovative contextual interaction system.”
If that sounds vague and needlessly jargon-y, that’s because it is. But Skybound has been relentlessly forward-thinking when it comes to exploring digital platforms. The company produced the YouTube Red series Scare PewDiePie (before PewDiePie self-immolated, that is), and it is also working on a virtual reality adaptation of the interactive horror play Delusion. Most recently, Skybound showed off a film called Captured at the Overlook Film Festival, which used a mobile app to deliver additional content to audiences while they were watching the movie in real time. Of course, The Walking Dead itself has had a particularly strong run with its interactive Telltale game series.
Skydance Interactive has already been working in virtual reality as well, showing off its upcoming title Archangel as part of the offerings at IMAX’s new virtual reality arcades. (The title will be coming to consoles in July.) It’s not clear yet whether the new Walking Dead games will be brought to IMAX locations under Skydance’s existing partnership, but these kind of high-profile, IP-based titles could be a perfect fit for the location-based VR installations IMAX is working on. Of course, the benefit of something as widely popular as The Walking Dead is that it could potentially encourage headset adoption among consumers as well, making it a particularly intriguing option for gaming console VR.
Updated, June 15th, 1:15PM: Clarified language about Skydance’s existing partnership with IMAX.