Wallace & Gromit to help find the audience of the future
They have conquered the moon, vanquished evil penguins, and foiled plots to steal sheep. Now, Wallace & Gromit, who are celebrating their 30th anniversary this year, are about to bring their fans directly into their adventures via an incredible, first of its kind, story-driven experience that promises to bring together these much-loved, globally iconic characters and state-of-the-art storytelling.
Partnering with Aardman, a consortium of British companies including Potato, Sugar Creative and Tiny Rebel Games, with research support from the University of South Wales, are inventing an exciting immersive experience based on the Wallace & Gromit characters and backed by Government funding.
The new immersive experience will be rich and multi-layered, realised through innovation and technology, bringing Wallace & Gromit alive in an entirely new way, while also creating a new platform for storytelling for the audience of the future. The ambitious plan includes a multi-month campaign leading into a groundbreaking location-based multi-user augmented reality experience in 2020.
Chosen by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) as part of the Audience of the Future program, which is a key part of the Government’s Creative Industries Sector Deal announced in March 2018, the consortium has been awarded a multimillion-pound R&D grant to explore and pioneer cutting-edge immersive experiences. And now, working hand-in-hand with Aardman, they will bring a brand-new adventure in the lives of Wallace & Gromit.
Sean Clarke, Executive Director, Rights and Brand Development, Aardman said, “Aardman is a business built on great storytelling and creative ambition. We are delighted to partner with this bold project, developing brand new Wallace & Gromit content that can be interacted with on many levels. We are sure this will delight and engage fans, offer a unique experience and maintain Wallace & Gromit’s reputation as pioneers of technology.”
Susan Cummings, founder of Tiny Rebel Games and member of the consortium said, “We feel the future of immersive experiences lies in being able to weave a story together using a variety of media and experiences. At the core will be an engaging narrative, created in partnership with the incredibly creative team at Aardman, which will appeal to Wallace & Gromit fans of all ages. Around this core, we will use both cutting edge and traditional techniques to enable storytelling and allow people to engage with an evolving narrative. These may include immersive technologies such as augmented reality, mixed reality and haptics as well as live theatrical production, websites, social media channels and even comic books and audio adventures.”
UKRI Challenge Director for Audience of the Future, Prof Andrew Chitty said, “It’s fantastic that we complete our line-up of audience facing demonstrators with this hugely ambitious collaboration between Tiny Rebel Games, Potato, Sugar Creative, University of South Wales and the creators of Wallace and Gromit. Their aim to revolutionise Augmented Reality gaming along with the advances in AI, haptics, audience interaction and film production technologies from our other competition winners means the public will be able to try out some truly groundbreaking experiences over the next 18 months.”