The awakening of virtual reality from its pandemic hibernation continues at an explosive rate, driven on several different fronts.
Virtual reality continues to bounce back from its forced hibernation, on many fronts in the entertainment and entertainment industry.
One front that some may have overlooked in recent times is the Sim racing scene, as the home racing seat scene goes through location-based entertainment racing halls.
ImSim, which creates hardware and software for immersive virtual experiences, recently partnered with SynthesisVR, a virtual reality management platform, becoming the US and Canadian representatives of racing simulators.
SynthesisVR has also expanded its reach, supporting its VR content licenses and intelligent management for VR locations, including an extensive library of games and educational content; and including a variety of free roaming arena platforms within the offering.
Thanks to ImSim, SynthesisVR is positioned to offer a unique solution to operators in this territory.
Virtual reality also continues to ride the growth of electronic sports.
Spree Interactive’s latest free roaming virtual reality experience, “Cops Vs. Robbers,” supports six to 10 players simultaneously using the Pico standalone headset. The game is configured with a powerful esports element.
Published by Reality on Demand Studios and developed by Knuckleheads Studios, the version of the game that Spree will offer is described as an “immersive esports experience” and will incorporate a dedicated prize tournament and a facilities-based competition component. The in-game functionality will allow locations to mine leaderboards in real time.
The ability to deliver esports capability to a proven formula is gaining momentum, especially with the more exotic gaming platforms.
Valo Motion, known for its mixed reality climbing wall and trampoline experiences, redefined its approach by announcing the launch of the very first active eSports League in support of the company’s platforms.
The new ValoLeague combines the digital experience with the physicality of play and competition. It is also supported by a connected application which will allow players and spectators to follow the competitions taking place on the system at various facilities. The web and mobile app will include a leaderboard of stats and videos streamed from the systems, as well as notifications of important competition stats.
Valo Motion is covering initial cash prizes, ranging from € 100 ($ 117.63) to € 300 ($ 352.90) on the platform, and has started promoting events based on the existing installation base of 700 .
Sports betting makes sport online
During this time, the sports betting scene has migrated to the popularity of electronic sports, as well as to the entertainment scene. This continued with the announcement that NASDAQ-listed company Esports Technologies is now applying its betting platform to accept bets on popular esports game titles including “Counter Strike,” “League of Legends “,” Dota 2 “,” FIFA “,” StarCraft 2 “,” Warcraft 3 “,” King of Glory “,” Rainbow Six “and others.
The company will use its consumer platform Gogawi.com to support betting on the results of these popular esports games. The company is improving deposit and withdrawal options on the service, which also supports traditional sports betting in more than 40 sports.
The construction of e-sports recently hit a new high with the announcement of the opening of the largest e-sports stadium in China. As part of a strategic partnership between Sunac Culture & Tourism and QG E-sports Club, Shapingba has become the headquarters of the brand new Chongqing QG Sunac E-sports Center.
The site includes a shopping center, theme park and hotel features, all in support of the electronic sports stages and a 20,000-seat arena. The site hosts several regular championship events and hosts local esports teams such as Chongqing QGhappy.
Japan enters the fray
The Japanese amusement trade has also revealed important news of their doubling in eSports.
Sega Corp. revealed the deployment of its old intellectual property in a whole new platform. Called Virtua Fighter eSports, this is the Brawler’s latest release (since its launch in 1993), featuring a new competitive esports tournament. After being released in June for the Japanese market, the fun version will have the conventional tournament league functionality through the tournament system of the VF.Net facility.
But, for the first time on the Japanese scene, the game will also feature cross-platform competition. Players on the console versions of the new version will be able to compete with fun players, with a year-end big league tournament scheduled. The fun version is published on the ALL.Net P-ras Multi online distribution platform.
This marks an ongoing pivot towards the migration of tournament entertainment to full-fledged eSports, as Capcom, Taito and Konami show – it’s a move that is gathering momentum.
Consumer adoption is increasing
Facebook, owner of Oculus, continues to drive consumer adoption of VR.
The recent “Oculus Gaming Showcase” launched a series of games targeting their standalone VR Quest-2 hardware as it gears up for competition from Samsung, Pico, Sony and HTC in the coming months.
Not to be outdone, Taito released “Puzzle Bobble VR: Vacation Odyssey”, developed by Survios and based on the 1986 Bubble Bobble property, while Konami Digital Entertainment released “Beat Arena”, “- a rhythm game. VR musical, based on Bemania’s property, in hopes of launching a “Beat Saber” competitor for Asia.
The mall factor
The deployment of immersive entertainment in shopping centers is also advancing at a rapid pace.
The former founders of The Void’s have installed their new concept in the 3 million square foot American Dream retail and entertainment complex. This proof of concept facility is part of the transaction’s latest fundraiser, securing $ 1 million in seed capital from investor Bryan Wright in 2020.
Some of the founders of the original hyper-reality offering formed a new operation, called Jump. This company continues its interest in hyper-reality, but this time swaps guided walking for the simulation of full body flight.
Under the brand, the operation offers groups of up to six the chance to experience a virtual interactive wingsuit experience, with visuals provided via a VR headset, and a special trapeze system simulating the flight experience.
After the pandemic, virtual reality continues to develop in many directions.
(Editor’s note: Excerpts from this blog are from recent coverage in The Stinger Report, published by KWP and its director, Kevin Williams, the leading interactive news service on out-of-home entertainment covering the immersive frontier and beyond.)