VR gaming arenas — level-up in gaming industry
VR games can hit or miss, but virtual multiplayer arenas always nail it. The power of VR is the immersion it makes possible. And the ultimate immersion is in these big spaces, where you get long experiences that are never going to happen at home.
Immersion is usually constrained by the size of the living room and all the furniture and everything else that gets in the player’s way. When you’re tethered to your computer or limited to where you take one step and see a virtual wall pop up every five seconds, you’re being pulled out of that immersion. But when you get in a large warehouse and through tricks of the trade of going into elevators and turning people around when they don’t realize they’re being turned around — you feel you actually inside a video game. Multiplayer mode gives it a social aspect: during the session, players see each other as full-motion avatars: they stay in constant communication to strategize, call for help, warn their teammates, or just engage in some banter.
As far as business models go, this one is pretty simple. All that’s needed is a room with basically nothing in it, other than the dozens of cameras tracking players’ movements.
Australia has been at the forefront of VR gaming arenas since 2015, and now it’s most well-known pioneer of the industry, Zero Latency, has five arenas across the USA and locations in Tokyo, Japan; Madrid, Spain and Melbourne. The company plans to have 20 arenas worldwide by the end of 2017. Other companies are catching up: Echo Arena in the UK, Anvio VR in Russia, Virtual Reality Arena in Germany and VRcade in the US.
In fact, there’s been so much written about VR being an isolating technology, with gamers stuck in their homes. But these epic social game spaces are bringing people together to play games in a social environment.