Atmos VR has announced plans to open a new multiplayer ‘free roaming’ interactive game which has been developed with post-COVID audiences in mind and will offer restricted numbers of players in socially-distanced entertainment across the one-hour shows.
The new venue in the West Midlands, will be the first of eight planned to be rolled-out across the country over the next five years. As a UK first, the venue will offer free-roaming four-dimensional experiences with senses enhanced on every level. This could include: moving floors, the ability to feel things around you, pick up and touch virtual objects in the game and smell the atmosphere.
Founder, and event technology strategist, Kevin Blair, brings long-term military and commercial expertise in the VR space that he has spent the last three years developing the concept.
Kevin Blair, explains “Atmos VR’s aim is to bring creative content to life using the latest immersive technology, constantly evolving VR and beyond and pushing the experiential boundaries of immersive experiences. According to a recent study, three-quarters (76%) of immersive entertainment companies successfully have attendance up to 10,000 per year, meaning we can provide immersive experiences aimed at smaller audiences who are already seeking a more personal setting.
The immersive entertainment industry was valued in 2018 at more than $4.5 billion globally. Currently there are around 5,700 locations worldwide where consumers can experience VR outside of their home. This number is expected to rise to 45,700 by the end of 2022.
Bob Clarke, CEO, Samahoma Media Advisors, who negotiated the £1m investment from Insight Media Fund explains: “As part of the Fund’s focus on media investments for a post-COVID world, bringing back live events is very much on its agenda and free-roaming VR provides a genuine antidote to the reasonable lingering fears people may have of being part of an uncontrolled large audience crowd. Atmos VR has developed a cutting-edge proposition with plenty of hooks for repeat visits – with the Fund’s support we believe it can be scaled for a UK-wide rollout and international franchise opportunities.”
There are five million people living in the West Midlands providing a focused audience during Tiered restrictions and Birmingham has been named the most entrepreneurial UK city outside of London with more than 14,500 business start-ups in 2019. Contracts have been finalised for a 10,000 sq. ft. warehouse at the Custard Factory in the Digbeth Canal Corridor regeneration zone. Once the first LBE (location based entertainment) venue has been established, Atmos VR will be looking to expand across the country with locations in Tyne & Wear, Yorkshire, Merseyside, Glasgow, Cardiff and the South East being considered.
Atmos VR is set to join the largest regional tech and digital cluster outside of London, with the West Midlands Combined Authority area now home to 66,300 people employed across 12,500 tech and digital companies. The West Midlands Region economy is worth more than £141.4 billion.
Spending in the recreation sector was £10.5 billion in the UK in 2018. Whilst investment in the public entertainment sector has tended to focus on the heritage and family offering, there is enormous scope within the commercial sector to develop innovative and targeted high tech experiences for gamers and other younger audiences .
The Fund hopes to help unlock opportunities in this sector.