Entertainment-industry veteran Ian Richter and former Disney Imagineer Joe Garlington have joined virtual reality company SPACES Inc. as members of its advisory board, the company announced today.
As SPACES works to create a new future for theme parks and attractions, Garlington and Richter bring a wealth of knowledge and experience in theme-park and attractions design and intellectual-property development. Their global perspectives will support SPACES’ mission of fundamentally re-imagining the theme park experience.
Richter most recently served as executive vice president of franchise and emerging platform development at Legendary Entertainment, and spent more than seven years at DreamWorks Animation as head of creative franchise development and franchise executive producer. He has been involved with such major entertainment projects as Kong: Skull Island, Trolls, How to Train Your Dragon and The Spectacular Spider-Man. Richter’s unique experience has encompassed IP development in live-action and animated film and television, interactive games, consumer products, VR and augmented reality.
Prior to retiring in 2014, Garlington was the vice president and executive creative director of Walt Disney Imagineering’s interactive group, where he led the development of attractions and experiences for the DisneyQuest indoor theme park, and integrated groundbreaking technology with iconic Disney theme-park design in such attractions as Toy Story Mania, Turtle Talk With Crush, the recently refurbished Test Track and Epcot’s signature Spaceship Earth.
Richter and Garlington join a global advisory board that also includes:
Keith Boesky, former president of Eidos Interactive and the principal of Boesky & Company; Indian superstar and entrepreneur Rana Daggubati, star of the highest-grossing film in India’s history, Baahubali: The Beginning; and Dan Offner, attorney, angel investor and former general counsel for Oculus.
“Achieving our incredible vision requires an incredible team of advisers, so we could not be happier to welcome Ian and Joe to our team,” said SPACES CEO Shiraz Akmal. “Ian’s remarkable ability to blend world-class entertainment with emerging technologies, and Joe’s rich history with the most legendary name in theme park design, will be extraordinary assets to SPACES.”
Investors in SPACES include Comcast Ventures, the venture-capital affiliate of Comcast Corporation, and China-based Songcheng Performances Development Co. Ltd., as well as investments by Boost VC; Colopl VR Fund; GREE Inc.; Kai Huang; The Venture Reality Fund; and Youku Global Media Fund and CRCM VC. SPACES also operates a $30-million joint venture with Songcheng to create theme parks and location-based entertainment attractions throughout China.
Based in Los Angeles, SPACES takes its name from the base unit of virtual reality, a “space,” and boasts one of the most accomplished teams in the VR industry, with artists, designers and programmers from film, television, video games, visual effects, theme parks and animation. SPACES CEO Akmal and CTO Brad Herman, both previously oversaw virtual reality development at DreamWorks Animation.