The international launch of Wildeverse
Even though the Zoo is temporarily closed, players in Atlanta and around the world can explore the jungles of Africa and Asia with an innovative new Augmented Reality experience.
Zoo Atlanta is proud to be the U.S. partner of the international launch of Wildeverse, a game that uses Augmented Reality to enlist players in protecting the last jungles of the world and the apes who call them home. Developed by Internet of Elephants in partnership with conservation organizations the Borneo Nature Foundation and Goualougo Triangle Ape Foundation, Wildeverse will be jointly launched on Friday, April 3, 2020, by Zoo Atlanta (U.S.) and the Chester Zoo (U.K.)
Wildeverse was initially developed as an outdoor game, but game developers have worked around the clock in recent weeks to make it suitable for indoor play as well, providing people at home with alternative ways to connect with nature. This adaptation offers the stunning experience of wandering through a life-sized jungle and encountering wild apes – all from your living room. The game is free and accessible to anyone with a recent smartphone; no extra hardware is required.
Wildeverse is based on real animals living in the wild today and the people working to protect them. The game’s characters are real, the storylines are authentic, and what’s at stake throughout the experience is the future of our natural world. In addition to serving as the U.S. launch partner of Wildeverse, Zoo Atlanta also has a character in the game who underscores the Zoo’s longtime commitment to the care and behavioral study of great apes.
Players join a team of wildlife scientists and help them collect the data needed to protect the last wild spaces on Earth and the apes who inhabit them. Users encounter Fio the orangutan, Buka the gorilla, Chilli the gibbon and Aida the chimpanzee – real apes living in the wild – brought to life through Augmented Reality. Players explore life-sized virtual jungles from their own living rooms and collect food traces, footprints and more.
The story behind the game
Wildeverse is created by Kenya-based game company Internet of Elephants (IoE), one of FastCompany’s 100 Most Innovative Companies of 2018, and represents a hugely ambitious title from Africa’s emerging game scene.
The game was created in close collaboration with the Borneo Nature Foundation and the Goualougo Triangle Ape Project, two organizations at the forefront of science and protection of rainforests in Africa and Asia. The IoE team traveled to the jungles of Congo and Borneo to witness their work and to scout wildlife stars for the game. They tracked several families of apes, spoke to scientists and rangers, and dove into the conservation data. Fio, Buka, Chilli and Aida were selected for their compelling life stories and quirky personalities. IoE crafted virtual versions of the four apes and their habitats and created a game narrative based on the activities of the two conservation organizations.
“The connections between people and the natural world are more fragile than ever before, and in recent months, global health precautions have by necessity caused people around the world to remain in their homes, away from each other and away from many of the experiences that enrich their lives,” said Michelle Kolar, Vice President of Education at Zoo Atlanta. “As a conservation organization, Zoo Atlanta is so proud to have been chosen as the U.S. launch partner of Wildeverse – an incredible new game experience that brings the wild to us, wherever we may be.”
“Ape populations are being decimated across the world. Wildlife protection will only become a global priority if enough people take an interest,” said IoE founder Gautam Shah. “Conservationists on the ground are fighting an uphill battle with the support of only a handful of people. We are on a mission to turn the 2 billion people playing games today into wildlife lovers and supporters of conservation efforts.”
To amplify this mission, Zoo Atlanta and Chester Zoo joined IoE to launch Wildeverse in the U.S. and U.K. on April 3.
- Enter holographic AR jungles from your own home or backyard
- Get moving and find four real apes across two continents, with more species and habitats to come
- Go from newbie to expert, guided by a group of wildlife scientists
- Take photographs of your friends and family in the virtual jungle