While concrete figures for the popularity and financial success of location-based entertainment (LBE) arcades are hard to come by, it seems the industry isn’t doing to bad, with more companies investing in this side of the immersive market. One of the biggest is Bandai Namco which runs locations like VR Zone Shinjuku, recently announcing the formation of a new development group; Bandai Namco Amusement Lab Inc.
Bandai Namco Amusement Lab Inc. will focus on developing and operating virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR) experiences for these out-of-home facilities. This will enable the company to have one grouped solely dedicated to delivering the next level of immersive experiences for attendees,
Alongside development of VR,AR and MR content, Bandai Namco Amusement Lab Inc. will also take care of the software and hardware development, management operations, and network development for the experiences it creates.
The group isn’t fully established just yet, that will take place later in the year on 1st October, 2018. Bandai Namco Amusement Lab Inc. will be located at Bandai Namco Studios headquarters in Tokyo, Japan.
As yet there are no details on upcoming development plans for Bandai Namco Amusement Lab Inc. and how the group plan to advance the future of VR arcade entertainment.
VR Zone Shinjuku opened its doors in 2017, housing over 15 VR activities including: Dragon Ball VR “Master the Kamehameha”; Evangelion VR “The Throne of Souls”; Ghost in the ShellArise: Stealth Hounds and Mario Kart Arcade GP VR.
Bandai Namco has also made inroads into the UK, launching smaller spin-offs of the venue called VR ZONE Portal. These have seen openings at Hollywood Bowl in the O2 Arena and Tunbridge Wells locations. As an added bonus Mario Kart VR is heading to London, located at the Hollywood Bowl on Thursday 2nd August. VRFocus will continue its coverage of Bandai Namco Amusement Lab Inc. reporting back with the latest updates.