VR Studio Here Be Dragons Hires Former Tumblr President John Maloney as Networks Producer (EXCLUSIVE)

Here be Dragons
Courtesy of Here be Dragons

Here Be Dragons, the virtual reality (VR) studio formerly known as VRSE.works, has hired former Tumblr president John Maloney as its new networks producer, tasked with expanding the company’s business to reach additional creators, brands and traditional media platforms.

Maloney told Variety this week that he was very excited about VR’s potential. “It’s a great tool not just for storytelling, but improving lives,” he said. “I’m fascinated by VR.”

Most recently, Maloney had been working as the founding managing partner of Terapin Bale, a seed-stage investment company with a portfolio of over 30 startups. Before that, he served as interim president for news startup Circa.

But the most notable position on his bio is undoubtedly the work he did for Tumblr, the microblogging service that got acquired by Yahoo for $1.1 billion in 2013. Maloney joined Tumblr as employee number 3 in 2008, and stayed on as the company’s president until 2012.

“John is a rare force – one who sees where the market is headed before others do,” said Here Be Dragons co-founder and president Patrick Milling-Smith in a statement. “Together, we’re going to test the boundaries of what storytelling and experiences in this medium are capable of.”

Here Be Dragons has been producing VR experiences for clients like the New York Times, the United Nations and GE. The studio was co-founded by Milling-Smith and music video director Chris Milk, whose VR startup Within has been acting as partner and distributor for some of company’s projects.

Maloney told Variety this week that he’d like to see more cooperation across the industry. “It hit the consumer market before it was ready,” he said about VR, arguing that it still needed standards, fundamental tools and what he called a common language that could move the entire industry forward.

Said Maloney: “It’s a very interesting moment for VR.