Long-time readers of the site might recall a story from a few years ago, back when VR was just starting to dip its toe into the arcade industry again (the gurus called it “LBE VR” or Location Based Entertainment Virtual Reality). One of the first projects was done for Chuck E. Cheeses called Ticket Blaster, which made use of their ticket grabber setup that was used for birthday parties. The project was ultimately canceled, but it showed that developers were looking at ways to integrate VR with redemption already.
Fast forward to today and while LBE VR has grown a bit, nothing that has come along was really designed for redemption in the same way that we see videmption arcade machines being used. Noted redemption producer Benchmark Games International and Boxblaster are seeking to change that with their first joint effort, which is dubbed “VR X-perience.” While that name and the cabinet design you see below may not be final, it gives you an idea of what to expect:
H/T To Intergame Online for the image. This prototype image is missing the connected VR headset and it’s unknown where the payment acceptor is located, but I would guess that it’s primarily designed for card swipe systems, which make it easy to use with eTickets instead of needing to use a ticket dispenser. I’d be surprised if the latter wasn’t an option upon release.
I also supposed that while I’d normally call this a videmption game, it’d have to be called a VRdemption piece.
There was a press release issued about the game the other day, however, it provided little information about the game itself, so it was hard to do a story about it. Guessing from the game screen image, this looks like it is offering Boxblaster’s Gold and Mace VR game that is available for their standard LBE VR setup, likely adapted to the needs of a single station as well as redemption use. The VRX name also seems to imply that this is a platform for delivering multiple different videmption games, as opposed to one dedicated game. There’s a line in the press release below that also seems to indicate that this will allow multiple titles for it instead of just one.
That would make sense, especially if this comes with the typical VR price tag, allowing Benchmark to roll out more games in the future (not entirely unlike the old Vortek V3 cabinets). I’ll correct this post with the right details as soon as I get them, but those would be my educated guesses for now.
This game is debuting at the International Bowl Expo 2021 event tomorrow, where it can be found at the Elaut USA booth. Benchmark is now a part of the Elaut family, explaining that connection; I also assume that it will make an appearance at Amusement Expo 2021 next week since both Elaut and Boxblaster have booths there. If I see it there, I’ll be sure to find out more about it – for you, what do you think about this and the blending of VR with redemption?
Here’s the press release for those curious about a tiny bit more:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Benchmark Games and BoxBlaster collaborate on unattended VR Ticket redemption game
Benchmark Games International has teamed up with VR Developer BoxBlaster to bring a VR Ticket Redemption game to the amusement industry. Both Florida-based companies have been working on this project during the Covid break. BGI bringing its engineering expertise and BoxBlaster adding their VR magic to create a space-efficient, one-player cabinet with incredibly compelling gameplay!
Trevor Gianaris, President of Benchmark Games International, stated that “this is one of our most ambitious projects in a long time. Our engineering capabilities allowed us to create a cabinet to deliver an unattended VR experience that players normally get in an arena environment.” BoxBlaster Exec, Yevgen Malyshev, is delighted with the game’s development. “When seeking a partner for this project Benchmark Games was a natural choice as they are deep in amusement experience and local. Upon seeing the first prototype we are very excited. This product will help get our BoxBlaster VR titles into locations that do not have the space and/or personnel for our full-size arena installations!”
The partnership product will make its debut at the upcoming Bowl Expo in Louisville, KY
June 23-24 at booth 1033.
About Elaut Group USA
Elaut Group USA, headquartered in Lake Worth Beach, Florida is comprised of Elaut US, Benchmark Games International and Coast to Coast Entertainment. Elaut US (EUS) is the North American marketing arm of Elaut NV featuring the worlds premier claw cranes and amusement coin pushers. Benchmark Games International (BGI), one of the oldest coin machine factories in the US. With hit games like Slam-A-Winner, Wheel Deal and Monster Drop Xtreme being among the highest earning redemption games in coin operated amusement history. Coast to Coast Entertainment (CTC) offers the finest line of economy claw cranes and redemption products. In addition CTC has a flourishing plush, toy and redemption ticket division to supply their crane and redemption counter operators.