Frontgrid, the creators of ParadropVR, an under canopy flying VR experience, spoke about the potential of the virtual reality and gaming industry for Wales at the Creative North Wales Video Games Event which brought together thought leaders from across the region this week.Frontgrid builds installations which combine motion-based hardware with thrilling VR environments and gamification to give riders the sensation of flying. It now features in 9 countries around the world.
Its success has been largely born out of Wales. A concept originally inspired by speed flying, and the adventurous spirit of Snowdonia, many of its creators and influencers are based in Wales.
Matt Wells, Chief Executive, said: “It’s meaningful that such innovation is coming out of North Wales, the gaming and VR industry is taking off and it is a huge opportunity. We see North Wales as a fantastic base to operate from. Our offices are in Conwy, all of our game development and design team are based locally and we are collaborating with MSparc, on Anglesey to deliver some exciting new product innovation.”
The event was organised by M-Sparc is located in Gaerwen on the Isle of Anglesey, providing space for those companies and businesses who are in the Low Carbon, Energy and Environment, ICT and Natural Products sectors, helping to facilitate innovation via its networks and facilities.
The event, called Creative North Wales Video Games event, on Wednesday 21st April brought together several speakers including Bangor University, Wrexham University, Wales Interactive, and Creative North Wales as well as other pioneers in the industry.
Matt spoke about the challenges in software and app development, digital content production, AR, VR and XR and the importance of staying ahead of ever-changing technology.
He said: “Continuing to innovate is the only way to stay ahead of the game. We have had great success with ParadropVR but it is important to keep moving and this is only the beginning. Watch this space for news of the launch of our new hardware and game content this summer. It is going to be world leading - and it all started here in Wales.”
Matt, a serial entrepreneur, was previously one of the founders of Camre Cymru / Outlook Expeditions, running adventure activities in North Wales and sending young people on lifechanging expeditions to destinations worldwide.
“North Wales has built a reputation worldwide for adventure activities in the real world, with many in the region making their living by curating adventure experiences. As we are adventure specialists, it follows that we now are leading the way with virtual reality adventure experiences too. Virtual reality and gaming offers another layer over physical experiences, pushing the boundaries of reality and imagination.”