Games Industry Legend Jane Whittaker Joins XR Games
“Jane Whittaker joins XR Games – a Virtual Reality games studio that raised $2.6m in VC funding from Global Merces Media Ventures”
Games industry legend Jane Whittaker has joined the board and executive team of new VR studio XR Games. In a stellar 34-year career, spanning both gaming and general entertainment, Jane has led teams across both product and corporate business development. Jane has held senior management and board roles at Atari (11 yrs), MGM (5 yrs), and EA (14 yrs). He has also provided high-level advice to the board of companies like Softbank (8 yrs) and Microsoft (14 yrs). Jane has been five times winner of the programmer of the year award, won numerous best game awards and other industry accolades, and – despite reaching board room level – has continued to lead and develop products. Jane’s portfolio includes mega-hits as GoldenEye 007 (N64), Alien vs. Predator, The Sims, HR Giger’s Darkseed and major contributions to Microsoft Flight Simulator.
At XR Games, Jane’s title will be Chief Hopping Officer. The title was coined initially by Microsoft founder Bill Gates to spotlight Whittaker’s wide-ranging expertise and ability to simultaneously hop between roles in a corporate environment, operating creatively, technically and leading business development.
XR Games’ CEO Bobby Thandi said, “Jane brings a wealth of experience that’s unparalleled in the games sector, and invaluable as we launch into the emerging VR market. Jane delivers concept, code, and corporate vision to our board, and I’m super excited that Jane has chosen to join XR Games.”
Jane has a long history in VR, including managing the VR team at Atari, developing titles such as the VR version of Alien VS Predator for the Atari Jaguar and is regarded as a lead visionary in 3D technology.
“I firmly believe as the technology matures, virtual reality is going to be a tidal wave that sweeps through the entertainment industry. XR Games is positioning itself to ride the crest of that wave with incredibly innovative products and approaches set to revolutionise VR. It’s an exciting time to be a member of the XR team,” enthused Jane.
Jane is also the subject of a BBC series about Jane’s life story, for major worldwide TV release in 2018. It features industry giants such as Bing Gordon, Sam Tramiel, Wild Bill Stealey, and others.
Jane is also a member of the advisory team at VC investor, Global Merces Media Ventures (GMMV), and was introduced to XR Games through the investment process. Adam Schoff, GMMV Chief Investment Officer, commented, “Pairing our board advisor Jane with Bobby will help spearhead the development and growth of XR Games. As a fund, we choose to invest where we believe we can add the most strategic advantage. We are confident that having Jane lead our investment in XR Games will be of great benefit to XR and investors alike.”
GM Media Ventures Fund has been established to provide investors with the opportunity to gain exposure to the media industry with an absolute return focus, meaning the returns may be achieved regardless of market conditions.
Global Merces are dedicated to curating global assets for investors of the Fund. The overall strategy employed by Adam Schoff, Chief Investment Officer, is to use a blend of trading strategies which aim to generate absolute returns using projects that range from film, television, print, virtual reality, gaming, financing and more. The strategies are designed to have multiple revenues from global intellectual property licenses within the industry.
XR Games makes mobile and arcade Virtual Reality games for licensed Intellectual Properties.
Bobby Thandi, XR Games’ CoFounder and CEO, assembled the launch team in 2017. They worked together at parent company Dubit on projects for DreamWorks, Mattel, Disney, BBC, PBS KIDS, and other leading companies. XR Games are based in Leeds, England and is a Dubit Holdings subsidiary.
Bobby is also a member of the BAFTA VR Advisory Group and was a BAFTA judge