In anticipation of his presentation at Future of Immersive Leisure in Las Vegas, September 13-14, 2017, we asked Bob Cooney at Blue Laser Consulting, a few questions about the immersive entertainment ecosystem. Check out his interview in relation to his Future of Immersive Leisure presentation entitled, Arena Scale VR- Successor to Laser Tag?
Q: Is the loading and unloading issues with VR technology impacting the experience?
A: Dropping people into and pulling them out of a VR experience without considering how they transition their immersion can be jarring. Pre and post experience needs work, as does the launcher experience for VR Arcades. CTRL V developed their own 3D launcher environment so players can jump into and out of different games without destroying their immersion. Immersion is the ONLY REASON to experience VR, and experiences that don’t respect that are losing points with consumers.
Q: How can the digital out-of-home entertainment industry stay ahead of the home entertainment scene?
A: By investing in experiences that are different. We’ve seen this movie before. Go play video games at Aladdin’s Castle at the mall. Oh, what, you can’t because they went out of business. The good news is consumer adoption of VR tech continues to lag projections, and likely will continue to lag. But just putting consumer products in commercial locations and thinking that’s a sustainable business is naive.
Q: Is it essential to have new immersive attractions and experiences every few years to survive?
A: Depending on the frequency of visitor, every few years might work for a theme park, but for an arcade or entertainment center the frequency of change needs to align with the frequency of guest visit. If you want people to come back monthly or quarterly you should consider freshening content on that frequency.
Q: Could VR be more important in the out-of-home sector than in consumer application?
A: Absolutely. VR headwinds of expense and inconvenience and space requirements are going to be hard to overcome in the consumer market.