Group Participants Could Experience The Strain VR Synchronized in Real-time Together
FX Networks went big at San Diego Comic-Con this week, frightening attendees with the first-ever large scale FX Fearless Arena fan experience consuming the Hilton Bayfront Park next to the Convention Center. FX Networks built out a theme park featuring activations for American Horror Story: Hotel, Fargo, The Bastard Executioner and most notably the VR experience for The Strain.
Enter The Strain VR Warehouse
The FX Fearless Arena challenged attendees to prove their bravery by entering a live-action virtual reality experience inspired by The Strain, the vampire thriller from Carlton Cuse and Guillermo del Toro, based off the best-selling book trilogy by del Toro and Chuck Hogan.
Brave attendees enter a replica warehouse where they are ushered in groups of six to take seats. Putting on a Samsung Gear VR headset and headphones, fans are taken on a two-and-a-half-minute VR adventure created exclusively for Comic-Con. With headsets on, users find themselves awakening to Kevin Durand, who plays Vasiliy Fet in The Strain, as he asks you to join him on his mission. Participants soon find themselves in a virtual warehouse much like the one they physically entered, realize it is a trap, and are taken on a ride for their life to flee what may be lurking around the corner.
The entire live-action VR experience, shot in collaboration with Headcase VR, is a thrill ride. From the eerie warehouse setting and rumble packs under your seat that tick to a heart beat, this is one Comic-Con experience that could actually give you a scare.
Synchronized VR Experience
Although we have seen a number of VR experiences at Comic-Con for Google Cardboard, FX Networks took immersion even further with synchronized VR headsets for the group.
Instead of a traditional solo VR experience for the participant, the group of six experience the ride synchronized in real-time together. Agency Digital Kitchen helped FX Networks synchronize the entire experience for participants, so all scream inducing moments are felt simultaneously in VR.
Speaking with Kenya Hardaway, VP Integrated Promotions, FX Networks has been extremely happy with the response to the content, commenting that “this VR experience gets people to engage with The Strain in ways they have never before. It is truly immersive.”
FX Networks is looking at more ways to make The Strain VR experience available to the public after Comic-Con and is considering “next-steps” for other shows that may work in VR for future projects.
Hardaway states, “We have a lot of shows that will lend themselves well to [VR], we have some diehard fans that are eager to dive deeper if they were given the opportunity.”
The Strain VR experience is a great example of how brands can give fans a way to engage with their favorite shows that is not only memorable, but also worth talking about. Get ready to fight because the second season of The Strain premieres on FX Sunday, July 12th at 10 PM ET/PT.
Image Credit: FX Networks/Frank Micelotta/PictureGroup