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Will VR Arcades survive the pandemic?

Zenbane
Level 16
Last month, one VR Arcade permanently closed:
Virtual reality arcade in Shops at Rockvale permanently closed because of COVID-19
https://lancasteronline.com/business/local_business/virtual-reality-arcade-in-shops-at-rockvale-perm...

They are not alone. Anyone can Google the subject to see how wide spread this is becoming.

A related article:
VR centers and arcades were growing quickly before the pandemic. Now, the industry is seeing furloughs, layoffs and pivots.
https://www.protocol.com/location-based-vr-covid-19

Granted, some organizations that were doing well before the pandemic are still looking to the future, and hoping for the best by discussing new Hygiene and Safety measures:

Overall, there's a growing consensus that "living in a pandemic" will become a more permanent way of life. If we look at Movie Theatres, they are suffering greatly with little hope of long-term recovery. Take AMC, as one example. Their stock dropped to a measly $4:

It's probably no secret that I'm a bit biased here, especially since I've tried a few VR Attractions and found them to be incredibly lackluster (to put it mildly). I have some reviews on this forum:
https://forums.oculusvr.com/community/discussion/86652/virtual-reality-arcades-reviews-megathread/p1

Overall, I feel that we may see VR Attractions in some form as offered by large organizations with big investors (e.g. Disney World), but as a whole a widespread business model seems to be dead in the water. This is purely speculation on my part, of course. But even here in Texas we're seeing closures of facilities before they even had a real chance to achieve any sort of success or ROI. But perhaps that's just my bias speaking.

Thoughts?
57 REPLIES 57

DaftnDirect
Volunteer Moderator
Volunteer Moderator
I think this is another that I'm not sure about, that makes 2 in a row.

I think accessible and affordable VR in the form of quality stand-alone headsets will probably have more of a long-term affect than the pandemic but it's difficult to say.

Are the 360 movie theatres still a thing in Disney? I remember as a kid being amazed at them but now I've seen a number of vids In VR, I'd probably queue for something else in a theme park. I guess the imax type stuff is still there, can't remember the ride's name but that was pretty good the last time I went.

Edit: just remembered... Soaring

Intel 5820K OC@4Ghz, Titan X (Maxwell), 32GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4, ASRock X99 Taichi, Samsung 500Gb 960 Evo M.2, Corsair H100i v2 Cooler, Inateck KTU3FR-4P USB 3 card, Windows 10 Pro v20H2 (19043.1081)

kevinw729
Level 16
Many try and paint things as black and white. The situation with the success of Location-Based entertainment and the whole Out-of-Home entertainment move in VR came as an uncomfortable embracement for many who had tried to paint the situation as only being consumer VR.

Now we have seen swings and roundabouts post COVID. In Asia we have seen strong interest return in VR arcades reopening, but also we have seen some operations so seriously damaged by prolong loss of business that they can not restart. Thait said, the first VR venues reopening in the West are also seeing a return to business. This based on information in August, rather than out of date selected articles.

We are also seeing some new developments, showing investment continues in this sphere - just look at the new launches:

SPREE Interactive is pleased to announce the global release of a new educational VR experience Mission to Mars.

SPREE Interactive partners with European broadcasting giant ProSiebenSat.1, Hollywood VFX house Pixomondo, and Munich shopping mall Forum Schwanthalerhohe for the global release of educational VR experience Mission to Mars

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and...

Europa-Park/MackNeXT And VR Coaster Partner Vicon For VR Experience

Vicon, a world leader in motion capture, has partnered with developer of VR experiences Europa-Park/MackNeXT and VR Coaster to create a location-based virtual reality (LBVR) entertainment platform. 

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Just to name two of a number of announcements made in July as the market started the process of reopening.

Trying to connect "VR shops" (whatever they are) with Disney attractions is not really understanding the complexity and diversity of the LBE VR scene - especially with examples of new investment in mixed-use entertainment. Its more likely that the single "standalone" entertainment offerings like TheVOID will have to succumb to a new order - while VR is used more and more as a catalyst to the bigger entertainment question of XR investment. 

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

RuneSR2
Level 16
I'm at work now, had lots of coffee, I'm fresh and positive about most things right now o:)  

Valve Index & Oculus Rift CV1, Asus Strix OC RTX™ 3090, i9-10900K (5.3Ghz), 32GB 3200MHz, 8TB
"Ask not what VR can do for you, but what you can do for VR"

DaftnDirect
Volunteer Moderator
Volunteer Moderator
Yep, coffee does that to me too.

Intel 5820K OC@4Ghz, Titan X (Maxwell), 32GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4, ASRock X99 Taichi, Samsung 500Gb 960 Evo M.2, Corsair H100i v2 Cooler, Inateck KTU3FR-4P USB 3 card, Windows 10 Pro v20H2 (19043.1081)

kevinw729
Level 16

RuneSR2 said:

I'm at work now, had lot's of coffee, I'm fresh and positive about most things right now o:)  



We all love positivity.... for everyone  B)
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

warda_butt_9028
Level 3
Yes. Coffee is love 

Nekto2
Level 9
I think some of LBEs will close, but new ones will open instead soon after that.

And safety issues are not easy. You can't use face mask with HMD (it do not fits well).
You can't use much antiseptic on HMD. It could possibly ruin it fast.
Have any one thoughts on it?

But... there are some LBE without "L" 😉  You could play same team based game like in LBE but with your own headset at home :lol:

TomCgcmfc
Level 16
Like my blood type, I’m B Positive, lol!
9 9900k, rtx3090, 32 Gb ram, 1tb ssd, 4tb hdd. xi hero wifi mb, 750w psu, Q2 w/Air Link, Vive Pro

Mradr
Level 13

Nekto2 said:
And safety issues are not easy. You can't use face mask with HMD (it do not fits well).
You can't use much antiseptic on HMD. It could possibly ruin it fast.
Have any one thoughts on it?


They make face pads that you can remove and throw away. You could also go leather padding witch makes wiping the surface a lot easier as well.