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New Studio With Former Oculus, Niantic & Magic Leap Talent Working On Virtual Creature Experience

New Studio With Former Oculus, Niantic & Magic Leap Talent Working On Virtual Creature Experience

Windup Minds, a new studio with talent from Oculus, Niantic, Magic Leap, wants to bring virtual creatures into your headsets.

The studio announced a $1.6 million close of pre-seed funding today, as it prepares to launch its first experience for virtual and mixed reality devices.

The studio team features "veteran talent" from Oculus, EA, PopCap, Harmonix, Bungie, Magic Leap, Niantic and more, with experience working on major VR and flatscreen releases like Bogo, First Steps, First Contact, TheBlu, Stranger Things VR, Plants vs Zombies, Destiny, Rock Band, EverQuest, Peggle and more.

According to a press release, Windup Minds are "deep in development of a virtual creature experience for mixed and virtual reality XR platforms." Windup is aiming to create an evolution of virtual creature staples like the Tamogotchi, the Sony Aibo robot dog and Shigeru Miyamoto's Nintendogs.

“Our relationship with dogs and cats is more than just a pastime—it’s part of the social evolution of human beings,” said Windup Mind’s CEO Bernard Yee in a prepared statement, discussing the reason for exploring virtual creatures in particular.

Yee also talked about his early VR development experience, highlighting the impact of the early Dreamdeck demoes for Rift at Oculus Connect. "We saw players tear their prototype headsets off when our T-Rex came towards them,” said Yee, in a prepared statement. ”They intellectually knew they were in a little demo cubicle, but their instinctual brains told them ‘there’s a dinosaur in the room with you.’ VR and MR can make you feel like your digital pet is real - and no other medium can do this.”

There's no name, release or platform info for Windup Minds' virtual creatures experience just yet – keep an eye out for more info to come.

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