VRstudios creates virtual reality arcades where a bunch of players can gather in a physical location and play in the same VR games. And today, the company is launching VRcade PowerPlay, an esport game built for location-based entertainment.
VRstudios has 55 VRcades in 14 countries, where players can line up in a pay-per-play experience, much like old video game arcades. The Bellevue, Washington-based company said, “VRcade PowerPlay is an intensely athletic team esport played in free-roaming, arena-scale virtual reality.”
It pits anywhere from two to eight players together in a 60 feet by 40 feet configurable VR battlefield. The competitive matches can be dynamically configured with millions of distinct combinations of multiplayer game modes, arm cannon presets, and battlefield configurations.
VRcade PowerPlay enables physical action across the arena, and it encourages the players to be smart and cooperate. And VRstudios tries to create a fun experience for spectators, who can watch the live action along with in-game broadcasts.
“Everyone recognizes that esports are increasingly popular, and we believe that the release of VRcade PowerPlay is literally a ‘game-changer.’ It’s the next generation of esports that adds true athletic activity over a large format playing field, and it can be deployed by any (arcade) operator,” said Kevin Vitale, VRstudios CEO, in a statement. “While complementary to our other systems and attractions, VRcade PowerPlay creates a whole new category of location-based VR entertainment for both players and spectators. It also opens the door to a number of new business models and branding options going forward for [arcade] operators and sponsors.”
VRcade PowerPlay is managed by VRcade Amp, the attraction management platform. It runs on the commercial VRcade Arena system which requires no additional physical infrastructure or props. The combination of VRcade PowerPlay, Amp, and Arenas create a full solution for VR arcades.
“First and foremost, we wanted to deliver an exciting, action-packed game that grew out of the vision from the original founding team over 5 years ago,” said Chanel Summers, VRstudios’ vice president of creative development, in a statement. “It combines a retro game aesthetic with a futuristic battlefield setting to showcase a truly physical sport in a nearly unlimited virtual arena. By design, the [players] quickly forget that they are in a virtual experience and move naturally in all the same ways that they would on a real-world playing field, including running, ducking, and jumping to beat the competition. The physical action, range of motion and dynamic competitive match formats definitely qualify VRcade PowerPlay as the sport of the future.”