As with so many stories there have been changes throughout the story of Beyond Play too. Despite this, the company’s state of mind has always been the same. We wish to explore the world from a different perspective, express ourselves in new ways and create lasting memories.
With Mike it all started about ten years ago when he had an eye-opening experience during his demo for a big transmedia production in London.
“ We had people from multinational technology corporations and big-time Hollywood producers involved, and we showed them what we had been working on. We had cutting-edge tech stuff and a cool background story and puzzles for them to solve. It worked just fine. But for the end we had something special planned. To progress in the game they had to enter into a “sacred space” to talk to a mentor character.
Everyone took their shoes off and approached this mysterious figure in a huge cellar.
When this was going on, evil mercenaries attacked the place and the players had to flee through a little door which led to an underground station. That’s when the game ended, with millionaires in socks at a metro station. And their eyes were shining like they had just experienced something unique. And they had. They had been completely immersed in something, crossed some boundaries, and forgotten about their everyday life for a few minutes. “
He realized that immersive experiences are such a powerful tool that if we found the right way to utilize it, we could change the world.
Mike admits it did not happen immediately.
In most cases they were asked to do it with a cell phone or do it to advertise some completely ordinary, non-immersive media product or do some other compromise. But at the same time technology became much more seamless, and he gained more experience in the start-up world, and scouted for the right team. He knew he would need Vera Schneider as the CEO.
“A year ago time was right for me to call Vera out of the blue, and ask if she wanted to found a company. She said yes.”
To Vera Beyond Play is the pinnacle of a long process that is turning her years of larp producing and design into a full-time job. She started this journey by studying cultural management, migrating over to game studies and producing digital games, and from there to developing and in-depth understanding about the games culture and ecosystem.
“ I’m passionate about having a company that can affect development on a larger scale, and that’s what I’ve been working on from the very first moment. I might not be the one producing and designing the games at Beyond Play, but it gives me immense joy to lead the people who do.”
Now it’s time to see what the future will bring!