Neil Gaiman VR Experience ‘Wolves in the Walls’ Wins Primetime Emmy

Janko Roettgers

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“Wolves in the Walls,” the virtual reality (VR) experience based on Neil Gaiman’s children’s book by the same name, has been awarded with a Primetime Emmy for outstanding innovation in interactive media. The experience has been produced by San Francisco-based immersive entertainment startup Fable, which puts a big effort on making the viewer a participating character in the story.

“It has been inspiring to be part of this juried award category,” said “Wolves in the Walls” director and co-creator Pete Billington. “We are humbled and grateful for the encouragement and recognition.”

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The Fable team began developing “Wolves in the Walls” when it was still employed by Facebook as the Oculus Story Studio. Following Facebook’s decision to shutter its own content production arm, Fable picked up the pieces, and unveiled the first part of “Wolves in the Walls” at Sundance last year.

This spring, Fable showed off the second part of the story at the Tribeca Film Festival. Throughout the story, Billington and his co-creator Jessica Shamash have been embracing interactivity in novel ways. Viewers follow Lucy, the main character of the story, as her imaginary friend, get to take pictures with an instant camera, and even play an in-story video game.

However, Shamash and Billington told Variety earlier this year that the story didn’t embrace interactivity for interactivity’s sake, and that it didn’t let viewers dictate the narrative. Shamash explained that the focus was on Lucy, and her decisions, as opposed to decisions that viewers may make for her. “This is her quest, her journey,” she said.

“Wolves in the Walls” is expected to total 60 minutes once the story’s 3rd and final chapter gets completed. There is no word yet on release plans, but the experience is likely going to find its way to Oculus headsets at some point, since Facebook has been financially supporting the development.

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