We haven’t covered “Location Based Entertainment” VR (LBR VR) very much lately, although there has been plenty going on in the realm, as you’ll note if you’ve been reading your Stinger Reports. In part, that’s because most of these products are not arcades, but attractions – attractions being in a different class of amusement, like go karts, bowling, or laser tag. There will be a lot of VR to see at IAAPA, so this news should serve as a preview for some of that; in looking over the list of companies that have “Virtual Reality” attached to them, there will be 81 VR related booths there (although not necessarily 81 VR products).
There is one company that is not specifically on that list that has been at the past few shows by the name of Virtuix. They developed the omni-directional treadmill and subsequent Omni Virtual Arena. This was given an amusement attraction design in conjunction with UNIS, then a separate version with a big enclosure and esports rebranding was launched last year, which you can see below:
With the website stating that 3,000 Omni’s (being the treadmill, I believe) have been shipped to “over 500 commercial operators” around the world, that install base has allowed the primary company behind this, Virtuix, to hold weekly and monthly tournaments. The compilation of these tournaments for the 2019 Omni Arena Esports Series resulted in a prize pool of $50,000 in cash rewards – for 2020, they are joining up with HP to double that to $100k. Seems like a strong way to bring players into locations that host an Arena, staying engaged with the player base.
More info on this can be found in the press release below; what do you think?
Virtuix and HP Sponsor $100,000 VR Esports Tournament for Family Entertainment Centers
AUSTIN (October 22, 2019) – Virtuix, developer of the “Omni Arena” virtual reality esports attraction, announced a cash prize pool of $100,000 for the 2020 Omni Arena esports series, doubling the current prize pool of $50,000 and making the Omni Arena esports series the largest VR esports competition in the world. In addition to cash prizes, winning teams will receive an HP Reverb Virtual Reality Headset.
“Our 2019 esports contests exceeded all expectations,” said Jan Goetgeluk, founder and CEO of Virtuix. “More than 1,000 players in over a dozen countries participated. Given the success of the series, we are thrilled to double our prize pool for 2020.”
Omni Arena is a virtual reality esports attraction featuring four Omni motion platforms that enable players to run around physically inside popular video games like first-person shooters. In Omni Arena’s weekly and monthly contests, four-player teams battle for the top spot on global leaderboards. The Omni provides the only way to physically move around in competitive video games, adding an extra layer of excitement for both players and spectators.
“The physical engagement of the Omni combined with competitive, multiplayer gaming is a winning formula for location-based entertainment that results in high repeat play,” Goetgeluk continued. “A $100,000 prize pool attracts gamers who play again and again. Our core players come back to compete every week.”
“We are excited to participate in the Omni Arena esports contest series,” said Joanna Popper, HP’s Global Head of Virtual Reality for Location-Based Entertainment. “Virtuix has built a competitive gaming experience that requires both videogaming skills and physical fitness. Such active esports offer a unique way for entertainment venues to reach a new audience of gamers, build a community of frequent players, and showcase the groundbreaking technology that HP is known for.”
Interested players can find more information and sign up here: www.omniverse.global.
Virtuix Inc., founded in April 2013 and headquartered in Austin, Texas, is the pioneer of the “Active VR” category and is the developer of the Omni – the first-of-its-kind motion platform that enables 360-degree movement in virtual environments. Virtuix has shipped more than 3,000 Omni systems to more than 500 commercial entertainment venues around the world, making the Omni the most widely distributed VR hardware apart from head-mounted displays. The Omni system includes Omniverse, Virtuix’s proprietary content delivery and arcade management platform that currently features 20 VR games as well as esports competitive gaming. Virtuix, a private company, has raised more than $20MM from individual and institutional investors. For more information, visit www.virtuix.com