Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Dinosaurs Roam Again Thanks To Company-X

Hundreds of gamers have poured praise on the first of Hashbane Interactive’s gameplay videos for dinosaur action-adventure game Instinction.

The game publisher posted the first of three gameplay videos on YouTube in mid-January, receiving hundreds of comments from gamers.

“Can't wait - I've been praying for a single player dino shooter for years!”

“This looks great . . . this also gives a little bit of ‘Peter Jackson's King Kong’ vibe.”

“I thought this was supposed to be gameplay. This looks like a frickin movie! My eye holes need more joy!!!”

Set in a prehistoric era amidst extinct creatures, ravenous beasts, and ancient ruins, Instinction combines combat and exploration with a great narrative, stunning locations, and pristine visual effects. The game, developed and published by Hashbane – and funded with a $2 million investment from Hillfarrance Venture Capital – allows players to explore the Valley of the Rift, a vast and living world hidden within the Yucatán Peninsula, populated by living dinosaurs and protected by the people of a hidden civilisation.

“Instinction is where history, fantasy and education meet entertainment,” said Hillfarrance Venture Capital founder and managing partner Rob Vickery.

“The game's trailer has already garnered significant attention, surpassing 200 million views on YouTube and hundreds of thousands of Wishlists on Steam. That demonstrates a robust commercial potential. This enthusiasm, coupled with the unique opportunity to aid palaeontologists in crafting more authentic narratives about dinosaur life, presented a compelling business case for our investment.”

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

The pedigree of the artists behind Instinction reads like a Hollywood blockbuster résumé. The team’s prior creature artist and written work includes BBC’s Prehistoric Planet, House of the Dragon, the Oscar winning, 1917, and multi-award-winning game God of War: Ragnarok. But even the best pedigree doesn’t guarantee success.

“Because of my obsession with dinosaurs, I have a natural bias, so I had to be very careful about the due diligence process. I don't just like dinosaurs, I am obsessed with them. My goal was to ensure that their approach to making the game was scalable, sustainable, and an effective way of building what would become quite an expensive game,” said Vickery.

To avoid bias, Vickery partially delegated the due diligence to Hillfarrance principle, Alex Dam, who tasked Company-X with the technical assessment on the in-progress game development and decisions that were being made. Company-X, New Zealand’s leader in VR and simulation software, took a deep dive into the functional and technical operations of teams and systems.

As the global gaming market expands, New Zealand’s gaming sector is on the cusp of exponential growth. This surge positions the country at the forefront of an evolving industry.

In partnership with Company-X, Hillfarrance plans to continue to fuel the New Zealand industry’s growth with existing investments in Auckland based Space Rock Games,’ Criminals Within, and a suite of others in the 2024 and 2025 pipelines.

“I can’t put my finger on why New Zealand's so good at developing new games, but there's something in the water,” Vickery said. “We are a nation of storytellers, and games are essentially just a new form of storytelling.”

Instinction is officially set to release on Steam in Q4 of 2025.

About Company-X

Company-X’s reputation is built on creating systems that run the world better.

Company-X is a leader in the defence, infrastructure, software as a service (SaaS) and technology sectors; innovating systems through software to tackle key challenges for businesses and government agencies.

Company-X builds highly skilled, tightly knit, self-managing, and co-located teams. Our insourced teams stay with projects throughout the development lifecycle to efficiently address complex problems with speed and specialised expertise.

Co-founded by directors David Hallett and Jeremy Hughes, Company-X is celebrating a decade of business in 2023.

For more information about Company-X, visit, or contact us via email ( or phone at +64 7 825 8606.

About Hillfarrance

Hillfarrance Venture Capital is one of the leading early-stage venture funds in New Zealand. Based in Auckland, Hillfarrance empowers Kiwi entrepreneurs tramping the frontier of what’s possible in machine learning, media and gaming and the solutions for the climate crisis.

Company-X has won many awards:

  • Company-X won an ExportNZ Top Tech Companies of 2022 award.
  • Company-X won the Best Professional Service Innovation Award in the Hamilton Central Business Association Central Business District Awards 2021
  • Company-X software quality assurance tester Jes Elliott won the Reseller News Women in ICT (Information and Communication Technology) 2021 Rising Star Award.
  • The Independent Software Vendor Award at the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 for state-of-the-art software that turns text into human-like audio files at a fraction of the cost of booking a voice artist, recording studio and sound engineer.
  • The Independent Software Vendor Award at the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2019 for a hands-free auditing application developed for AsureQuality.
  • The Service Excellence and Global Operator awards at the Westpac Waikato Business Awards in 2018.
  • The Services Exporter of the Year category at the Air New Zealand Cargo ExportNZ Awards 2017.
  • The Homegrown Innovators Independent Software Vendors Award at the Reseller News ICT Industry Awards 2017.
  • The Roading Asset Management Innovation Award at the Road Infrastructure Management Forum in 2017 for the One Network Road Classification Performance Measures Reporting Tool built for the New Zealand transport sector.

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.