Final yr noticed the location-based leisure trade grind to a halt, nonetheless now it appears there could also be gentle on the finish of the tunnel for a minimum of one VR arcade startup. HOLOGATE, the Germany-based firm creating VR arcade tech, introduced it’s betting huge this yr with the launch of its first large-format facility.
Referred to as Hologate World, the corporate introduced its flagship location is about to open in September 2021 within the newly modernized FLAIR Galerie mall in Fürth, Germany. Since its founding in 2017, Hologate has licensed its turnkey VR tech and proprietary video games to different amenities, making Hologate World an growth in the direction of a bigger, extra bold franchise mannequin.
Taking over a 1,200 m² space, Hologate World is claimed to incorporate VR video games, XR escape rooms, esports enviornment, and “a number of proprietary leisure experiences that might be making their world premieres on the opening.” It can additionally function a bar, lounge with meals service, and each indoor and outside gathering areas.Hologate World idea artwork | Picture courtesy Hologate
The corporate says its flagship location in Fürth, which is near Nuremberg, is a “blueprint for additional franchise places in search of a contemporary leisure facility to get folks off their couches and again into their retail and hospitality places.”
On that notice, Hologate hopes their elevated hygiene requirements will assist encourage confidence in patrons, one thing the corporate established again in Might 2020 in preparation for an eventual reopening of its 400+ licensed venues.
It’s unsure how nicely the bigger LBE trade will fare this yr, but it surely’s prone to be an uphill battle for a lot of VR arcades, which have sometimes low throughput and excessive operation prices as a result of want for outstanding places. Whereas Hologate appears to have fared 2020’s stormy climate nicely sufficient, many VR arcades haven’t gone unscathed.
Probably the most well-funded turnkey operations, Sandbox VR, discovered difficulties in August 2020 when its US-based subsidiary Glostation USA Inc. filed for Chapter 11 chapter. It’s since reemerged from Chapter 11 after reorganization, and the corporate hopes to proceed operations as soon as issues get again to regular.
One other huge identify in location-based VR, The VOID, has additionally seen its justifiable share of troubles after late final yr it reportedly defaulted on a mortgage and had an vital IP contract with Disney terminated.
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