- Street: Via Nuova Del Campo 21
- City: Messina
- Zip/Postal Code: 98154
- Listed: July 17, 2020 11:24 pm
- Expires: 65 days, 22 hours
Over the last few years, we have seen a plethora of news articles about how virtual reality was going to save the timeless arcade. The theory goes that the VR gear is too expensive for home users, so it creates an opportunity for operators to pony up the big bucks to buy it and then make their money back by charging per match to play with it. From the MIT Technology Review.
“While several high-end headsets were released annually that can bring virtual-reality adventures to your living space, adoption of this technology remains in its first days to get a bunch of reasons–it’s still bulky, expensive, and there is not all that far to do once you’ve got it on your face. More than two million headsets were shipped worldwide in 2016, according to a quote from market researcher Canalys, yet this figure pales compared to the prevalence of, say, video game consoles (earnings of their leading one, Sony’s PS4, topped six million during the 2016 holiday season ). Consumer virtual reality will likely catch on as costs come down and headsets improve. Meanwhile, though, a variety of businesses are betting that consumers may be pleased to cover a much smaller sum to try the technology with their buddies at, say, an arcade, theme park, or even bowling alley”
It is tempting to dive into this snare, but from an operator’s standpoint VR is a terrible deal. Operators are being requested to pay top dollar for tech that’s all but guaranteed to plummet in value within the very short term. Aside from buying a brand-new car and driving it a mile, I can not think of a way you could eliminate money quicker between what you pay and what you will have the ability to get for it down the street.
Another limitation for operators is that while you may be able to provide a room for VR people to roam around in now, as new VR tech is unveiled, we’re likely to find the stage expanded from 100 square feet into the entire world. Rather than viewing just the matches from your headset, you’ll see the real world with game play overlayed. Kids can visit the park and relive the knights of the round table or parking garages to take aliens. Since the technology allows more actual world areas to be explored, it’s going to earn a cramped arcade look pretty lame in comparison.
VR is heading for mass market acceptance, but it is demand is not being pushed by players who want to pay big buck to play with video games, but like the BETAMAX that came before it, by individuals who wish to watch porn in their houses.
Even if an operator can make a little bit of money to the next few years, after VR achieves critical mass, then it will crush whatever revenue flow that operators are dreaming of. Don’t believe me? Just check out what’s happening in China.
Last year, an eye popping 35,000 virtual reality arcades opened up in China. A year later 22,000 of them have closed.
This is an unbelievable failure rate over such a short period of time and one which should serve as a sharp warning to anyone considering investing in the VR games – https://writeablog.net/vad64thorup/lovely-ladybug-kiddie-pet-experience-offers-you-a-various-riding-emotion. Perhaps Dave and Busters is able to take losses over the matches more than Chinese startup arcades, however I doubt most North American operators will fare far better with the technology in their match rooms and will only end up in debt at the end of the day.
The problem essentially boils down to consumers not being willing to pay a premium to the encounter. Tech In Asia, clarifies the issue perfectly in their own article, on that the Chinese VR boom and bust.
“Enterprising store owners jumped into VR are finding it impossible to charge fees comparable to cinemas or bowling alleys to get a VR experience. One VR arcade proprietor told iHeima he saw eager queues when charging US$1.50 for a 30-minute session, but everyone disappeared when it rose to US$5. By that kind of revenue it is impossible to cover the rent.”
Even if the game was sold out daily, at $1.50 a half hour they’re only earning $30 a day.
The actual world data streaming in from China must function as a canary in the quarter plantations of North America. Operators who invest considerable amounts of money on fancy VR setups will probably find their small VR rooms being substituted by the whole world as a stage. As the setups get cheaper, smaller and more portable, the virtual arcades will seem more expensive, bulky and restricted.
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