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IMAX decides to close VR locations and write-off VR content investments!

kevinw729
Level 15
Full quote:

"In connection with the Company’s previously-announced strategic review
of its virtual reality pilot initiative, the Company has decided to
close its remaining VR locations and write-off certain VR content
investments."

https://uploadvr.com/imax-vr-is-dead/

The reality of the failure of this concept has  to do with IMAX internal problems, though it would be easy to try and just write this off as a reflection on VR arcade.

We have to look at the reality of the IMAX venture - it was done as a means to have a "promotional" project to show investors they were current with the VR boom. They hired exec's with no experience of the market or even LBE / FEC knowledge - and much of the IMAX VR idea was borrowed (copied) badly from the Centertec VR offering.

The executive team had little to no idea of the market and when questioned proved arrogant and secretive regarding their motives, involved in silo style practices towards building their business - as witnessed with their deal with StarVR / Starbreeze that spectacularly failed in months of being implemented. The cherry-on-the-cake regarding this fiasco being the inability of the operation to achieve its business model, following the acquisition of their planned cinema partner by Wanda.

The lesson to learn from this mess is... flexibility and competence!

Regarding the Consumer VR sector, implications of this collapse in investment in VR content will have ramifications with the number of Oculus VR funded IMAX movie VR tie-ins that had been planned, though it is expected that other studios will take up the slack left by IMAX.
https://vrawards.aixr.org/ "The Out-of-Home Immersive Entertainment Frontier: Expanding Interactive Boundaries in Leisure Facilities" https://www.amazon.co.uk/Out-Home-Immersive-Entertainment-Frontier/dp/1472426959
17 REPLIES 17

Morgrum
Level 11
Ok lets be honest I dont think anyone goes to IMAX to experience VR.
And the spiderman VR experience they released on OH sucked!
WAAAGH!

Zenbane
Level 15
If you read some of the comments about this topic over on Reddit, people are saying things very similar to discussions we have had on this forum over the past few years. Simply put, it's a hard business model when the consumer virtual reality experience allows us to achieve all of this at home. Facility VR really needs to up their game if they expect people to pay not only once, but multiple times. Without repeat business, this type of business model will fail.

snowdog
Level 15
If anyone is going to make any money out of combining VR and a cinema it will be by opening a VR Porn Cinema. Just make sure the headsets are cleanable and you'll make a fortune lmfao 😮 😄 😄 😄
"This you have to understand. There's only one way to hurt a man who's lost everything. Give him back something broken."

Thomas Covenant, Unbeliever

snowdog
Level 15
Opening soon in Soho, Harv's VR Enpornium.
"This you have to understand. There's only one way to hurt a man who's lost everything. Give him back something broken."

Thomas Covenant, Unbeliever

kevinw729
Level 15
We have to look at the reality of the IMAX venture - it was done as a means to have a "promotional" project to show investors they were current with the VR boom. They hired exec's with no experience of the market or even LBE / FEC knowledge - and much of the IMAX VR idea was borrowed (copied) badly from the Centertec VR offering.

The executive team had little to no idea of the market and when questioned proved arrogant and secretive regarding their motives, involved in silo style practices towards building their business - as witnessed with their deal with StarVR / Starbreeze that spectacularly failed in months of being implemented. The cherry-on-the-cake regarding this fiasco being the inability of the operation to achieve its business model, following the acquisition of their planned cinema partner by Wanda.

The lesson to learn from this mess is... flexibility and competence!

https://vrawards.aixr.org/ "The Out-of-Home Immersive Entertainment Frontier: Expanding Interactive Boundaries in Leisure Facilities" https://www.amazon.co.uk/Out-Home-Immersive-Entertainment-Frontier/dp/1472426959

Zenbane
Level 15
Blaming IMAX seems to be the easy way out, but lets say that it's true, IMAX who has been a multimillion dollar organization for years somehow botched implementing a VR Business Model. Then what's the answer?

It's easy to point at something in hindsight and say, "that was dumb." It's much harder to come up with a solution beforehand. Every time a VR Facility article comes out (like when Sea World abandoned their VR attraction), there is always some excuse given. But what we never see... is the solution.

The absence of a solution leaves onlookers with little choice other than to compare all of this to the demise of Classic Arcades. Once gaming consoles and PC's entered the consumer home, Classic Arcade facilities died. We can walk around blaming the people who ran those Arcade facilities; claiming that they had no idea how to market, lacked flexibility, and maintained no competence. But to believe that involves ignoring the obvious fact that the same people who once attended Classic Arcades to play video games.... are now at home playing video games. That concept is so easily dismissed in favor of blaming the facility owners.

If there is some "secret sauce" to running a VR Facility in a way that prevents it from following in the footsteps of the Classic Arcade, then isn't it high time that we hear it? It's been two years of blaming everyone else. Will the narrative change in 2019?

As far as any incompetence that IMAX may have shown here... I have personally worked with a plethora of organizations who can easily be blamed for having bad business practices. I mean really, does anyone know an organization with a perfect business model? Yet every single one of them did quite well in yielding high gains and thriving year-after-year.

If there is a true market for something, then even a flawed business model can yield some sort of profit.

snowdog
Level 15
Harv's VR Empornium is going to have a perfect business model. I'm gonna be RICH!!! B)
"This you have to understand. There's only one way to hurt a man who's lost everything. Give him back something broken."

Thomas Covenant, Unbeliever

Zenbane
Level 15

snowdog said:

Harv's VR Empornium is going to have a perfect business model. I'm gonna be RICH!!!


Well I hope it's a better business model than the VR game you promised 10 years ago omg

DaftnDirect
Volunteer Moderator
Volunteer Moderator

Personally, I think public VR could be fantastic if and when it allows users to share the experience with each other... i.e. when you can take your kids to an experience and see a virtual them in that experience... and they see a virtual you.

Having fun in public is all about sharing the experience with each other regardless of the medium. Even movies... I don't go to the cinema on my own (although I know some people do), if I want a solitary movie experience, I do that at home.

VR, as we've discussed before can be very isolating. VR coasters are a super interesting experience but quite void of fun when you can't even see your brother sitting next to you!

The exception is possibly a pub environment where you take in turns doing something daft while your mates take the piss. That could be a laugh.

But an experience that's meant to be shared in a public environment... almost certainly won't benefit from VR.

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