For the launch of Google Daydream back in 2016, Framestore and Warner Bros. Pictures created a virtual reality (VR) experience based on the Harry Potter spin-off film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. It was known back in November that a PlayStation VR version was in the works but today the companies have announced the upgraded 2018 edition, coming to PC and mobile head-mounted displays (HMDs).
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them VR Experience has been expanded from its initial 2016 offering with Framestore adding more of an open-world gameplay style to include additional creatures, environments and interactive puzzles. New character additions include the Niffler, Occamy and Bowtruckle, to the already existing Erumpent, Thunderbird and Graphorn.
“With this project, we wanted to bring players into an immersive experience combining the graphic fidelity of the Fantastic Beasts brand with the interactivity of real-time games,” states Julien Charlebois, Head of Production, VR, Montréal in a statement. “In order to achieve the quality expected from a Fantastic Beasts experience on such a broad range of VR platforms, we had to leverage the knowledge and expertise of our different teams around the globe.”
This latest VR edition was led by Framestore’s New York and Montréal offices; the project marking the first real-time project from Montréal, which opened its VR Studio in 2017. The team worked to optimise and enhance this latest version with new visual fidelity and technological innovation, especially for mobile VR.
The VR experience allows fan to become wizards themselves complete with a wand in hand, able to cast spells and control their environment whilst tending to Newt’s fantastic beasts. A new trailer has been released featuring Eddie Redmayne getting to grips with the new content.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them VR Experience will be released today, 23rd January on the respective stores for HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR (at time of writing this hasn’t happened yet). There’s been no mention of whether the PlayStation VR version will also be released today. For any further updates keep reading VRFocus.