Remember when Space Invaders hit in 1978?
It was the biggest game since Monopoly and it turns out it was basically nothing compared to others in the arcade space.
Because when Pac Man (Fun Online Pac Man Game You Can Play After You Read This) was released in 1980 it took the world by storm. There were shirts, cartoons and even a song dedicated to that little ghost eating pellet muncher.
By 1981 video games were most everywhere you wanted to be. Restaurants had them in their bars and lobbies. Bowling alleys had them in their own rooms. That hotel you stayed at better have had an arcade near the pool. Even movie theaters got into the act because families arrived before showtime so their kids could play. Soon individual arcades began to spring up everywhere.
Kids were bugging parents for quarters and tokens to play Donkey Kong and Ms. Pac Man. Blisters on thumbs was the new normal. It’s no doubt you’ve played at least one of these classics, and if you’re over 40, your first time may very well have been a life altering experience.
Well, that was then…
What’s NOW is definitely mind-bending. Imagine being transported to some of the greatest sites on our planet via Google Earth in VR. You can literally float over the Golden Gate Bridge or the Sphinx of Giza. If that’s not your thing, how about an underwater adventure where you come eyeball to eyeball with a ginormous blue whale? You can learn just how afraid of heights you and your friends are when you see who dares to walk out on Richie’s Plank. Or maybe you just want to shoot up a bunch of zombies...don’t forget to look behind you.
As of now, the equipment is too expensive for the average person to justify. This is why VR arcades are going to be HUGE beginning in 2017.
Why VR Arcades NOW?!
2016 was a banner year for the Virtual Reality industry. The year started off with plenty of fresh VR users who received the Samsung Gear VR (released November 27, 2015) as a must have gift for the holidays. But this was simply a coming attraction for the big releases to come.
The two heavyweights in the industry, the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive were each released within a week of March 30 and ready to do battle. Both of these head mounted displays provided for greater immersion than the Samsung model which is superior to Google Cardboard.
The timing was great because over the past 5-10 years the computer hardware industry had created processors that were fast enough to support this new reality that had been developing since the 1960’s.
Game developers around the globe have been dreaming of building game worlds in Virtual Reality and now they finally can. New games hit the market almost daily and you never know what will come next. The amount of new titles that have been added to the Steam VR library is quite impressive. The four items mentioned above are a small taste. There are well over 500 experiences created as of this writing.
Looking for Early Adopters
Those places that jumped on the arcade bandwagon by 1981 did well for themselves. We’re at the beginning of a gaming revolution that will make Pac Man Fever look like a common cold.
We told you earlier that we want to make the process of setting up your own virtual reality arcade business an easy one. Let’s start with some questions:
- Does your venue pride itself on providing cutting edge experiences?
- Can you attract customers between the ages of 12 and 50?
- Are you looking to replace an under-performing attraction?
- Do you have between 800-1000 sq ft available? (doesn’t have to be contiguous)
- Would older siblings spend money if you had something for them to do?
- Would you like to add six figures worth of revenue?