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XR Games announces first international expansion with new studio opening in New Zealand

The award-winning VR games studio based in Leeds, UK, begins its international expansion with a new studio in Christchurch, New Zealand

Leeds, UK – Mar. 20, 2023 – XR Games is excited to announce its first international expansion, with the opening of a new studio located in Christchurch, New Zealand. This studio will work in tandem with the award-winning developer’s flagship office in Leeds, UK, to create the next generation of VR and AR games.

XR Games aims to grow its New Zealand operation in the coming months, working with talented staff in the region. As part of this process, the company is already in discussions with the University of Canterbury in Christchurch about how they can engage with the University’s Digital Screen Campus, and Game Development programme to help foster the next-generation of games development talent.

With the real-world game development experience that has been accumulated at XR Games, the award-winning VR studio has a lot to offer students. From real-world insights, to case studies and scenarios, XR Games aims to support the future graduates of the University of Canterbury’s Digital Screen and Game Development programme in obtaining the required knowledge and expertise to have a successful career in games development.

The decision to base XR Games’ first international expansion in Christchurch, New Zealand, came after XR Games Founder & CEO Bobby Thandi visited the city in 2022. He found a location which offers a great talent base and a supportive economy, as well as a fantastic lifestyle and work-life balance for a growing team — critical in the modern games industry.

The University of Canterbury’s investment into developing a Digital Screen Campus was a huge pull factor for the region, and the focus in areas of technology and game development will undoubtedly benefit the growth of both XR Games and Christchurch itself.

Petra Westropp, Manager of the University of Canterbury’s Digital Screen Campus’ Innovation Hub, says, “Core to the vision of the Digital Screen Campus is helping foster and attract the creative tech and digital screen industries to our region, so it’s fantastic to see this happening already with an award-winning studio such as XR Games.”

The expansion to the region is supported by ChristchurchNZ, the sustainable economic development agency for Ōtautahi Christchurch. ChristchurchNZ has connected XR Games with local game development and tech networks, and will continue to support their New Zealand Studio Head — Dr Robert Grant — with the studio’s rapid growth plans and future site selection.

“We are very excited at the announcement of XR Games investing in our city due to its thriving Screen and Game Dev sectors”, says Business Attraction Specialist, Jamie Todd.

“It’s so exciting to have New Zealand as the location for our first international expansion” says Bobby Thandi, Founder and CEO of XR Games. “The people we’ve been working with to get this off the ground have been amazing, and we’re excited to see the operation grow. Working with the University of Canterbury to help develop and support the next-generation of games development talent is such a privilege, and we can’t wait to see what our collaboration will do when it comes to innovations in VR development.”

“It’s a dream come true to be able to head up this exciting new studio in New Zealand” says Dr Robert Grant, Studio Head at XR Games New Zealand. “We’ve got some big projects to undertake, and to be able to do it with local talent here in New Zealand is so exciting.”


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Media Contacts

Mat Murray, Head of Marketing, XR Games:

About XR Games

Headquartered in Leeds, England, XR Games is an award-winning games development studio founded in 2017, specialising in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) games. XR Games has collaborated with big-name brands including Sony Pictures Virtual Reality and Rovio Entertainment for VR games, releasing the critically acclaimed Angry Birds Under Pressure VR in 2019, and Zombieland: Headshot Fever in 2021 for Meta Quest, Steam, Vive and headsets around the world. XR Games also released Zombieland: Headshot Fever Reloaded as a PlayStation VR2 launch title in March 2023.

XR Games is now rapidly scaling off the back of the hit Zombieland’s success. The title was 'Game of the Year' finalist at the 2021 VR Awards and TIGA Awards, and XR Games itself won the GP Bullhound Award for 'International Success’ and 'Best Small Studio' at the 2021 TIGA Awards.

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