Virtuix Analyzes 1 Million Omniverse Gameplays, Unveils 20th Title

Posted On: 3/4/2019

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AUSTIN, TX -- Virtuix has announced that its Omniverse virtual-reality gaming platform has surpassed one million plays. Marking the milestone, Virtuix has unveiled its 20th Omniverse game, which simulates the renowned "running of the bulls" in Pamplona, Spain.

Omniverse is a cloud-based content-distribution and arcade-management platform that's included with each Omni motion platform (a treadmill that allows players to walk, run and dodge in the virtual world of the game) and Virtuix VR Arena attraction. Commercial operators use Omniverse to run Omni games and track revenue statistics.

The company explained that all games on Omniverse are optimized both for the Omni and for location-based entertainment (LBE). Virtuix has shipped more than 3,000 Omni units to date to more than 500 LBE locations in 45 countries.

Virtuix has summarized the lessons learned from those million-plus Omni VR gameplays in location-based entertainment facilities. There are six findings:

1. "Offer better games, not more games." The company reported that Omniverse gameplay data shows that 80% of operator revenues come from just 20% of games. Of the 20 Omniverse games, four account for 80% of revenues. The 10 least popular games on the platform generate only 6% of revenues.

2. Shooters are key game offerings, and ease of play is crucial. Eight of the 10 most popular Omniverse games are shooters. The second most requested genre is horror, which is the top choice among women. A very important game characteristic, reported by 79% of Omni operators, is simple, easy-to-learn controls. The ideal game is "easy to play, difficult to master."

3. Self-consciousness is the biggest hurdle. The principal hesitation that drives customers away, as identified by a survey of VR operators, is that "guests are shy or uncomfortable about playing while people are watching." Although providing more privacy for players might diminish an attraction's visual draw, it may increase the number of guests who end up trying it.

4. Selecting the right staff is critical. Throughout their VR experience, guests need lots of "handholding" by attendants who are socially engaging and comforting to players. "Many operators assign their most technically minded staff, or their resident gaming fanatics, as VR attendants," Virtuix warned. "This choice may be a mistake, as these employees may not be the most personable. "

5.  Operational simplicity is necessary. "A player-to-attendant ratio of at least 4:1 is essential to achieve acceptable ROI," Virtuix observed. "Semi-automated operation and a predetermined player flow are necessary to keep throughput high – at least 20 players per hour." Well-designed attractions follow a steady cadence, with groups of players entering and exiting in a synchronous manner.

6. "Ultimately, it's not about VR," Virtuix noted. "Although guests may be initially curious to try VR, the novelty wears off fast." Attracting repeat players calls for  an anchor VR attraction that delivers an active, competitive multiplayer. "Esports is a great way to add an addictive competitive element to VR," the company pointed out. Esports competitions stimulate repeat play and enable operators to build a local community of return players.

A full report of Virtuix's lessons learned from 1 million Omniverse plays can be found on the company's blog by clicking here.

"We've learned a lot about the requirements of operating VR in location-based entertainment," said Virtuix founder and chief executive Jan Goetgeluk. "Our first foray into the FEC market, a stage-style product with five Omnis placed in a small area, had suboptimal throughput, flow and labor costs.

"Two years of customer feedback helped us design our new attraction, VR Arena, with highly automated user flow, built-in esports and a selection of the best Omniverse games," he explained.

Virtuix launched its Omniverse content platform in late 2017. Its extensive library of games allows Omni operators to offer all popular game genres and appeal to a wide audience.

The 20th Omniverse game, Bull Runner, requires players to compete for the highest score by running as close to the bulls as they can without getting gored. The game highlights the Omni's key benefit: the ability to physically run in VR. Watch below videos of the Bull Runner experience.

I'M WALKING, YES INDEED: Virtuix Omniverse Virtual Arena is built around the company's Omni next-generation treadmill simulator that allows players to walk, run, jump, dodge and maneuver in place. There now are 20 game titles available for the Omniverse system, which has chalked up more than a million plays in location-based entertainment centers. The latest game, Bull Runner, allows players to experience the world-famous "running of the bulls" (encerro) in Pamplona, Spain, with comparable effort but virtual bulls. The annual event is said to date back to the 14th Century.