With close to 3.5 million views, Magic Leap’s marketing video showing “Just Another Day in the Office” was a smash hit. The video, showing just how atypical and fun it is to work at the augmented reality company, went viral and added to the growing buzz and mystique around Magic Leap.
The startup had raised billions of dollars to create an augmented-reality headset which overlays digital images on the wearer’s view of the real world.
And the promotional video offers a mind-boggling demonstration: It opens with an employee scrolling through the basics, like an email app. Then the office comes alive, as the employee shoots robots falling from the ceiling and setting up a turret gun just feet from the desk.
But a new report by Reed Albergotti at The Information, a tech news site, shows that it was more than just fiction overlaid on reality. The augmented reality video game never existed, even though the description claimed that this was a “a game we’re playing around the office right now.”
Instead, the scenes depicted were simply a collection of special effects edited into a video, no different than what one might see in a movie. The video was created by a team in New Zealand at Weta Workshop, a company that is credited at the beginning and end of the video that’s currently posted on its YouTube channel.
According to The Information’s report, one source said it was simply an “aspirational conceptual” video while another one felt it was meant to mislead the public. The company had reportedly even used it as a recruitment tool to draw engineers to its offices in South Florida (far from the likes of Silicon Valley).
According to the report, Magic Leap is only now working on creating the video game that it claimed to have been playing all along.
Magic Leap did not immediately return a request for comment. Here’s the video:
Read The Information’s full report on the secretive startup here (subscription required).