Pinballz family entertainment centre in Austin, Texas, recently opened the first VR Arena from Virtuix. And in its first 10 days of operation, the esports attraction generated revenues of more than $10,000.
The installation (pictured above) was made in partnership with Funovation, which specialises in small-footprint attractions. The two companies plan to install a total of 20 VR Arenas by the end of 2019. This includes three more systems by June.
“VR Arena is off to a great start,” says Pinballz owner, Darren Spohn. “Revenues and player numbers have so far exceeded our expectations, and technical issues have been minimal. Virtuix’s virtual reality attraction looks awesome and is a big draw for our guests.”
VR Arena is a high-energy, four-player attraction that features four Omni motion platforms that allow users to walk and run inside virtual reality. Furthermore, there is also an automated staging area that provides throughput for 20 players per hour. Social sharing stations are provided so that players can upload gameplay videos embedded with the venue’s logo.
At Pinballz, a total of 820 guests paid $15 each to play VR Arena in its first 10 days, or $12 as part of a combo package. As with the standalone Omni VR treadmill offered by Virtuix, players on VR Arena can compete to win cash prizes. Weekly and monthly esports tournaments are sponsored by Virtuix, Funovation, HP and HTC, with an annual prize pool of more than $50,000.
Virtuix’ big ambition for VR Arena
“The launch of VR Arena is a big milestone for our company,” says Virtuix founder and CEO, Jan Goetgeluk. “The initial reactions and orders since our unveiling at IAAPA 2018 have been overwhelming. Ultimately, we aim to install a VR Arena at every FEC, trampoline park, bowling centre and large entertainment venue in the US and elsewhere.”
Research at Pinballz in Austin demonstrates that VR Arena is capable of bringing in new business for family entertainment centre operators. On the launch night for VR Arena (March 7), 45% of those in attendance said they had never visited the FEC before.
What can VR do for you?
Virtuix has published five tips on marketing virtual reality attractions and using VR to attract new audiences. In addition, Jan Goetgeluk will present more data and insights from VR Arena and Omniverse esports during a webinar with industry expert Bob Cooney on March 21 (sign up here) and at the VR Summit during Amusement Expo in Las Vegas on March 26.