Picking up a good book or watching a great movie are just two vehicles for escaping the world around you. But if a medium’s entertainment value lies in its ability to whisk us away to someplace new, nothing holds a candle to virtual reality (VR).
Survios, a virtual reality game developer, distributor, and software publisher, uses proprietary software tools to create experiences that blur the lines between Hollywood and gaming. In its latest release, CREED: Rise to Glory™, players train like Adonis Creed, interacting with characters from the Creed and Rocky franchises. Seth Gerson, CEO of the Los Angeles- based company, says it takes unexpected elements like physics and locomotive technology to build a game so realistic, you’ll feel like a champion.
Survios earned the No. 5 spot on Fast Company’s 2019 Most Innovative Companies list in the Gaming category for bringing “virtual” closer to “reality.” The company brings VR to the masses with location-based entertainment (LBE)—VR experiences people can access in arcades, amusement parks, and malls.
VR IS BETTER TOGETHER
Survios launched its own VR arcade in Torrance, California, in 2018, and the business quickly generated revenue per square foot on par with established family entertainment centers, Gerson says. Today, Survios distributes content in more than 47 countries across six continents. For every person playing a Survios game at home, there are 10 playing in LBE settings.
The company is also shifting audience demographics. Hardcore gamers are traditionally male, but women and children comprise 33 percent of LBE venue traffic in Western countries. In Korea, 60 percent of LBE customers are female. Across all locations, Survios’s repeat traffic rate hovers around 40 percent.
BEHIND THE TITLES
Survios’s multiplayer action title Raw Data earned $1 million in sales its first month and numerous awards after its 2016 launch. Its follow-up, Sprint Vector, cemented the developer’s reputation and brought the company into the exciting Esports arena. In 2018, it released three new games—a fast clip for VR developers—including CREED: Rise to Glory™ and Electronauts, a virtual reality music creation tool featuring music from popular EDM and hip-hop artists. Next, Survios will work with more beloved entertainment projects and roll out an “audacious” effort based on multi-player combat in uneven terrain—perfect for at home play and arcades. In typical Survios fashion, Gerson promises it will be unlike anything seen before.
Gerson credits his employees for Survios’s stream of hits. Team members dream big, set the bar high, and continually exceed expectations. “Our exceptional people are the company’s lifeblood, and it bleeds into the product,” he says.
One of the team’s goals is to remove the bezel—the structure that frames a screen—from entertainment. There is a reason why the iPhone’s bezel keeps getting smaller: it distracts from the experience, an unwelcome reminder of reality. VR allows users to enter another world. With the rise of LBE, more people will enjoy that experience without having to buy a headset. According to Greenlight Insights, LBE will be a $1 billion market by year’s end and worth $12 billion in five years.
Survios is currently designing LBE for the future, creating a blueprint for an ambitious roll-out. Wondering how your local mall will fill its empty store, or what will replace that empty movie theater? Retailers may be struggling, but people are still hungry for fun, social, and shareable experiences. And Survios has three words for you: Virtual Reality arcade.