Early Tuesday morning, Screen Australia announced the most recent round of production funding for feature films, children's TV and online shows. One of them is a local anime about esports, one that's also co-funded by AMD and Epic Games.
The project is called Meta Runner, which Glitch Production (the team behind the SMG4 YouTube channel) has been developing since at least 2017. The series is about a cyborg called Tari, a competitor in a city called Silica City where speedrunning and esports is the most predominant sport and form of entertainment.
But the Screen Australia release also notes that Epic Games and AMD have financed the series, along with some completion funding from the government body.
Meta Runner: A 10 x 12-minute animated series for YouTube set in a future where video games are everything, and technologically-enhanced e-sports competitors known as Meta Runners reign supreme. The series follows Tari, a young Meta Runner, as she weaves her way through this high-stakes and sometimes dangerous world where everyone wants to be number one. It is presented by writer/director Luke Lerdwichagul and writer/producer Kevin Lerdwichagul, creators of the highly popular YouTube channel SMG4. Meta Runner has received completion funding from Screen Australia and is financed with support from Epic Games and AMD.
Two things come to mind here: hey, Screen Australia is funding local anime. And on top of that, so are Epic Games and ... AMD?
It's a weird combination, but good news for local producers. On the downside, it does also mean that all three companies have paid for the creation of a character that wears socks with thongs:
Season one of Meta Runner launches on YouTube on July 25.