This past weekend at the VRLA Winter Expo, virtual reality studio Starbreeze announced their plans to establish a VR arcade right here in Los Angeles.
The planned VR arcade, dubbed Project StarCade, aims to make premium VR experiences accessible to the masses with an arcade hall that VR enthusiasts and novices alike are welcome to experience virtual reality in an immersive setting. The StarCade experiences will all be powered by the company’s own StarVR headset and is expected to have a library of content to try out.
We’ve checked out “The Walking Dead VR” experience, created by Overkill, over the past year and it is a fun one. The sitting experience places you in a wheelchair as you crawl virtually through a dilapidated hospital environment, moving slowly among the undead. You are then handed a shotgun where you blast away at hordes of zombies coming at you from all angles. The shotgun itself is a modified air-soft rifle that has full tracking in VR and even a functional pump action mechanism for reloading. And let me tell you, there is a lot of shooting and reloading in this experience.
Starbreeze has already been touring the VR experience in a giant modified RV, taking thousands of individuals through “The Walking Dead VR” a day at events. The VR RV was also parked inside the LA Convention Center this week. The company’s history at putting a large volume of users through VR experiences at events should translate well into scaling the RV experience into a full Los Angeles VR arcade.
The funny thing is that every person reacts to virtual reality differently. You never know who will freakout. Watch the video below from the Starbreeze RV at VRLA this past weekend for a taste.
The VR StarCade location will open during the Spring of this year at a yet undisclosed location, with the first location serving as a pilot center before expanding to other locations in the US or in Europe.
Virtual reality arcades like this one or a VR theme park like The Void based in Utah, is a sure sign of consumer demand to get their hands or head in the somewhat inaccessible technology of virtual reality. We know we can’t wait and I am sure fans are chomping at the bit to try as well.
We’ll be sure to be at the grand opening of StarCade and will provide updates as they come along. See you in there!