September 13, 2018 – Cineplex has today announced a strategic partnership with VRstudios, Inc., a provider of turnkey, location-based virtual reality solutions. The agreement includes a commercial partnership and an investment by Cineplex to acquire a significant ownership interest in VRstudios. The financial terms were not disclosed.
In addition to installation opportunities at existing Cineplex-owned properties – including its theatre network and location-based entertainment (LBE) network – the agreement also provides broader expansion opportunities in North America and around the globe. Founded in 2014 and based in Seattle, Washington, VRstudios’ product solutions are sold in various configurations for untethered multiplayer, free-roaming, room-scale and warehouse-scale commercial VR attractions. It features eight unique VR experiences in environments ranging in size from 100 to 2,400 square feet.
With more than 65 systems deployed to customers in 15 countries, plus another 120 commercial VR attractions powered by its AMP management software, VRstudios has a large global installation footprint and provides virtual reality solutions to entertainment destinations including theme parks, arcades, amusement parks, family entertainment centres, casinos and movie theatre complexes. Cineplex has recently installed a VRstudios attraction at The Rec Room in Edmonton, Canada, and plans to open approximately 30-40 additional locations across its theatre and LBE networks in the country by the end of 2021.
“We are not just deploying VR across our network, we are strategically investing in the market to create new revenue streams as well as critical mass and scale for growth. We are proud to be leading the way in the burgeoning location-based VR market,” said Ellis Jacob, President and CEO, Cineplex. “VRstudios’ product portfolio base has obvious application opportunities across the Cineplex ecosystem, and we are particularly excited about growth opportunities for Player One Amusement Group.”
Also mentioned in today’s announcement was Player One Amusement Group (P1AG), a provider of interactive video, redemption and amusement gaming equipment, that specializes in solution servicing and design for a wide range of customers in the theatrical exhibition vertical as well as community-based entertainment destinations such as bowling centres, restaurants, arcades, shopping centres and water parks. Today’s agreement creates opportunities for P1AG to work closely with VRstudios to manage the sale, and to support integration and maintenance of VRstudios’ portfolio of systems in North America.
“Cineplex is one of the world’s leading entertainment companies and we are honoured to be working in partnership with them to drive further innovation in the location-based VR marketplace,” said Kevin Vitale, Chief Executive Officer, VRstudios. “There is great synergy in our respective visions for scaling VR in commercial entertainment and the enterprise-wide strategy to make it happen.”
VRstudios offers a complete, customizable end-to-end virtual reality solution that includes an Attraction Management Platform for location-based entertainment businesses. Designed from the ground up, these systems facilitate experiences which, according to the company, “cannot be duplicated by in-home consumer virtual reality platforms”. With an emphasis on turnkey installation, easy-operation, training and support as well as owner profitability, VRstudios’ solution utilizes commercial-quality, patent-pending technology to offer its virtual reality attractions.
Image credit: Cineplex/VRstudios