Virtuix, Funovation Debut VR Arena Esports Attraction At IAAPA Expo

Posted On: 11/2/2018

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AUSTIN, TX -- Virtuix reports that it has teamed up with Funovation to develop VR Arena, a four-player esports attraction for location-based entertainment. Virtuix produces the popular Omni virtual-reality treadmill; Funovation is a leading developer of small-footprint attractions. The new piece will be demonstrated in Booth #2854 at the upcoming International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions 2018 expo in Orlando, FL, from Nov. 13 through 16. A show special is planned.

VR Arena is powered by Virtuix's "Omniverse" content platform, which presently offers 18 highly-optimized virtual-reality games. The new piece is designed to "bring esports out of the home," enabling players to compete in ongoing weekly and monthly contests with a $50,000 annual prize pool.

"We've been organizing esports tournaments since 2016, and we've learned that competitive gaming boosts revenues," said Virtuix founder and chief executive Jan Goetgeluk. "Ongoing prize contests result in repeat play by guests and build a community of frequent and loyal players.

"Our VR Arena attraction is exciting to both elite gamers and casual players," Goetgeluk continued. "It's incredibly fun to run around inside your favorite game, and everyone has a chance to win."

VR Arena incorporates the Omni 2.0 motion platform, which provides a straightforward way for players to run and change direction while remaining in place. According to Virtuix, the new Omni version 2 platform has been  optimized specifically for out-of-home esports.

The new attraction has a compact footprint of 375 sq.ft. (35 sq.m.) and is highly automated. Designed to simplify its use on location, it incorporates a built-in staging area for quick player setup and is designed to work with a 4:1 player-to-attendant ratio. A queuing app is designed to eliminate revenue-losing wait lines.

VR Arena offers a complete guest experience, including social mini-games to build camaraderie with teammates as well as post-game social media stations to share gameplay footage – with the venue's logo composited in.

"VR Arena incorporates two years of customer feedback," continues Goetgeluk. "We've listened to the concerns of our existing customers, particularly regarding the Omni's player setup time and labor needs, and we've worked hard to address them. VR Arena benefits from the maturity of the Omni, which is now a tested and proven technology. To date, we've shipped more than 3,000 Omni systems to over 500 entertainment venues in 45 countries, resulting in more than 500,000 Omni play sessions."

Ryan Borton, chief executive of Funovation, observed that VR Arena "combines the compact footprint of tethered VR attractions with the full immersion of free-roam VR, while being a lot more affordable. We're especially excited about increasing repeat play through esports, which is the next horizon in location-based family entertainment."

Borton predicted that, "paired with Virtuix's ongoing sponsored contests and large selection of VR games, this attraction will appeal to a wide range of guests.

"We're not settling for just a VR shooting gallery," he emphasized.

Visitors to the IAAPA Attractions Expo  will be able to participate in a global esports tournament featuring the popular shooter "Omni Arena" in its two-player co-operative mode. The tournament offers more than $5,000 in cash prizes, and the winning team takes home $2,000. Interested visitors can sign up for a VIP demo at IAAPA and a fast-pass to participate in the esports tournament without needing to wait in line. Click here to register online. 

WORLD OF THEIR OWN: Designed for efficient use of space, VR Arena by Virtuix and Funovation features Virtuix Omni 2.0 motion platform for free "movement" while remaining physically in place. It runs games from Virtuix Omniverse VR content platform, and is supported by weekly and monthly competition prize play. It's set for launch at IAAPA's Attractions Expo.