Neurogaming showcased two products to the press last month, both of which aim to revolutionise out-of-home entertainment services. Their first product is a platform called Cinema VR, a cloud-based solution for virtual reality (VR) arcades. The second product is called Polygon VR. An arena space where five full body players are able to interact with one another in a free roaming space, which can be recorded and broadcast to television, tablets or phones. VRFocus spoke with Alex Morozov, Chief Marketing Officer of Neurogaming about their future ventures.
Cinema VR launched December 2016, it’s a turnkey solution for location owners allowing them for quick and easy access to essentially create a four-player VR set-up. It can be used for various different use cases such as for demonstrating industrial applications such as demoing or selling real estate or immersive gaming experiences. Anything that requires up to four users experiencing or interacting with a space can be enabled with Cinema VR. A Cloud-based solution, Morozov explains that the platform services a completely cycle from the selection of an area, content management, location management, guidelines for assembly, a catalogue of available locations, personal training, help with marketing and a pipeline of content.
With an integrated CRM system that is capable of third-party ear pieces, Cinema VR is supposed to help upscale and cross sale as Neurogaming will offer in-app purchases if the location hits a critical mass of users. The CRM is also able to recognise returning users, so if a child interacted with a character in an experience already and returns – the character will recognise her and potentially introduce new objects to interact with. The CRM will allow companies or individuals to register user preferences and offer ways to stimulate customers to return. Really what it is, is an easy set-up for users who are looking for an easy solution that can simply be controlled with a tablet to introduce VR for up to four players in a VR space. Cinema VR is set up on a subscription model at the moment, but next year between Q1 and Q2 it may be coming to consoles and and home users.
Cinema VR is already located in over 40 locations and will come with its own content that Neurogaming create in-house. They’ve already created several VR experiences that span several genres, including well-received shooter RevolVR. An eight minute game, Neurogaming tested the experience last November where they offered over $20,000 as a prize and saw how RevolVR engaged with audiences. Their next VR videogame World of Tanks, is already in Beta testing in Moscow and will be released to the Cinema VR platform come May. Morozov says that they have around 150 leads at various stages for creating more content that will be available to Cinema VR platform users. For now they have 50 locations in Spain with two locations opening in Vancouver, Canada and potentially over 18 Cinema VR locations opening in the United Arab Emirates. Morozov explains that location based VR is a great entry point, a space ripe for entrepreneurs as there is a renaissance taking place in the arcade market.
Neurogaming’s second product will excite anybody working in immersive entertainment, television, eSports and general videogaming. Polygon VR is an ambitious plan to amalgamate those audiences and connects up to five users in full body tracking systems and VR headsets. Polygon VR then uses a server to connect various physical arenas together and has integrated a built-in broadcast and television system that will allow for live-broadcasting to television, laptops, tablets and mobiles.
Morozov compares it to films The Running Man and The Hunger Games film trilogy, where players can be in dramatic action with zero trauma or risk but with all the spectacle and drama. All the action will be happening in real-time, across real locations with real people all filmed and edited by live action directors and producers to create a show. He also mentions a second screen ability that would enable viewers to have a direct impact on the action taking place. For example if an escape room scenario was taking place, viewers could give a hint to help them. If it was a shooter videogame, viewers could offer team support and try to debuff an enemy team. At the moment they’re hoping to bring AAA franchises on-board to help and bring something which Morozov believes can revolutionise the entertainment industry.
At the moment Polygon VR have two locations in Moscow, one in New York and one in Amsterdam. Polygon VR will also be available at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) where they will be able to demonstrate the smaller more mobile version of Polygon VR. Essentially, Polygon VR would be able to create a media show that can also double as a location based entertainment system. Neurogaming are hoping to bring it to Asia as well after showcasing at the Tokyo Games Show in Japan last year and are in talks with several partners in China too.
Morozov says that Polygon VR is hardware agnostic, and as soon as a new piece of hardware is available, they will be the first ones to purchase them and prepare them for both Cinema VR and Polygon VR. At the end of the day, he says that format, concept and content are king in this new age of immersive technology.
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