Liverpool digital firm launches VR video game division

Established Liverpool digital studio Draw & Code is launching a new video game business called Scallywag Arcade that is set to launch its first virtual reality title. Tony McDonough reports

Scallywag Arcade is a new games studio based in Liverpool


A new independent video games studio is being launched in Liverpool staffed by industry veterans who have worked at leading games developers.

Scallywag Arcade will be a division of established Liverpool digital firm Draw & Code, a ‘work-for-hire’ studio that is currently undertaking more than 150 projects. The business specialises in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).

This new venture will be headed by Spencer Crossley, a games industry executive formerly at Warner Bros Games, Sony Computer Entertainment and Hasbro among others.

With a track record stretching back to the 1990s, Spencer’s achievements have included publishing multiple instalments of the Lego video game franchise and Batman: Arkham Asylum along with other successful titles.

His team includes professionals who have worked at Warner Bros Games, Evolution Studios, Just Add Water, Aardman and Merge Games.

For its first title, Scallywag Arcade is working in partnership with a global entertainment IP to create a VR-first title that it claims is “unlike anything else on the market”. This game is in production now with the release date yet to be announced.


Scallywag Arcade
A teaser image from Scallywag Arcade on its upcoming content


“Building teams and watching them shake things up is what drives me,” said Spencer. “I’ve been part of start-ups, scale-ups and majors. The team at Scallywag Arcade are turning the innovation and inspiration up to 11 and we can’t wait to share what we’re cooking up.”

Scallywag Arcade’s launch coincides with Develop, the UK’s largest games industry event. The studio’s senior team will be attending to offer a glimpse of what’s to come and begin “putting their name on the games map”.

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To say we were buzzing when we got our hands on this IP would be an understatement,” Scallywag’s head of games Niall Taylor added. “When weighing up the best platform for the concept it was a slam dunk for VR.”

While Scallywag Arcade is staffed by an experienced crew, it is also nurturing young talent. Animator Janie Dang said: “We have a pile of ideas driven by a variety of creative voices and experts in their field. “We embrace anything a little off-centre and different.” 

The new venture is already looking to add to its team and is encouraging people who would like to work for business to get in touch.

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