11 Apr 2024

Kiwi gaming entrepreneurs with a new title set for Apple's VR headsets

From Nine To Noon, 9:30 am on 11 April 2024

Gaming studio Beyond has launched its game Runaways on the Apple Vision Pro headset - the first game made here to release on that platform.

It's been a roller-coaster journey for Beyond's co-founders Jessica Manins and Anton Mitchell. The company started in 2018 their first hit was Oddball - an eight-player game on the VR headset Oculus Quest. The company is now known for its free-roam, multiplayer virtual reality games.

Oddball was just beginning to make waves, proving popular with celebrities, but it was February 2020 and the pandemic soon changed the landscape. Investors pulled back, realising Beyond's game needed to be played at a location like an entertainment centre - but people were being told to stay home. Jessica and Anton had to tell their team of six they'd run out of money and let everyone go. Not long after that, they got a deal over the line with Weta Workshop and another studio and slowly rebuilt the company. They've largely done that now - releasing a game in 2022 and this month - their latest game - Runaways.

Jessica Manins and Anton Mitchell.

Photo: Suppled - Beyond