Screen Australia Funds Second Series For Aussie Esports Drama Meta Runner

Screen Australia Funds Second Series For Aussie Esports Drama Meta Runner
Image: Glitch Productions/SMG4

Screen Australia has announced its latest round of funding, with esports-based anime Meta Runner confirmed to receive a second season.

Meta Runner is a YouTube series created by Luke and Kevin Lerdwichagul of SMG4, also known as Glitch Productions. It follows protagonist Tari through a world where video games are everything and esports competitors, known as ‘Meta Runners’, must make their way through a variety of high-stakes challenges for entertainment.

Meta Runner was first created through Screen Australia funding in 2019, with additional support from AMD, Epic Games and Crunchyroll. It went on to become a YouTube sensation, with its first episode having racked up over 2 million views to date. Its popularity has led to its continued funding.

The now-confirmed season two will follow Tari six months after the events of the first series as she hunts down the sinister TAS-Corp for good.

The show will share in $8.5 million worth of funding alongside other Aussie projects like The Midwife, Kitty Flanagan comedy Entitled and a feature film from artist Del Kathryn Barton.

The SMG4 channel, which has evolved into Glitch Productions, first began in 2009 with classic Super Mario parodies. It’s since become a larger professional production studio. In 2019, eight staffers were working on Meta Runner, including a part-time 3D modeller, composer and more.

Meta Runner is an impressive project led by a dedicated and hard-working Aussie team. With funding for series two now confirmed, fans can look forward to the series’ next big adventure.

Inside The Mario House That SMG4 Built

I've gotten out of an Uber just outside what looks like a derelict corner store in Sydney. It's an ordinary, plain Australian suburb. Opposite the corner store is a large house with a shale grey concrete wall and a window covered with some kind of blue tarp. Save for a small sign on the front, you'd think the place was completely abandoned. There's no audible sound from the outside, at least none that can drown out the din of passing traffic. But the shabby exterior is actually the office of Super Mario Glitchy 4, one of Australia's largest YouTube channels and the home where Meta Runner, the government-funded anime starring video games, esports and speedrunning, was born.

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