VR'S Explosion becomes a reality

04/04/2019

After years of predictions they’d be the next big thing, 2018 was the year that out-of-home virtual reality (VR) centres really came into their own.

With views on the Day Out With The Kids website up by 886% versus 2017, their popularity among families has exploded in the last 12 months.

Our fastest-growing category by a long way; we’re now seeing requests for new VR centre site listings come in thick and fast as operators big and small scramble to capitalise on this emerging industry.

With relatively low setup costs and not much physical square footage required; urban areas in particular are seeing most of the new openings, while those targeting the family market are focusing on locations with existing footfall such as shopping centres and leisure complexes.

We predict 2019 will be the year established attraction operators of all sizes will begin to take this trend seriously and begin putting VR technology into their venues – whether on a permanent or pop-up basis – to protect footfall and avoid losing share to the new competition.

886%

Rise in VR listing page views on Day Out With The Kids

463

The number of virtual or augmented reality firms in the UK

78%

of VR companies are start-ups, micro-level or scaling up

A girl playing a virtual reality game
Top 10 VR Centres of 2018

In the know...

Martin Higginson, CEO at Immotion VR

“The upsurge in VR Centres has by default driven producers to create better VR experiences, driving greater consumer interest. This, combined with the need and desire for greater ‘theatre’ on the high street, will lead to even better VR experiences being created.

It is clear with the increase in online shopping there is more leisure time. People are looking for exciting things to do with their free time. ‘Competitive socialising’ is one of the fastest growing sectors, and VR plays right into this space.

With ‘out of home’ VR, users can go on a variety of experiences, whether its racing around Brands Hatch with a bunch of mates, riding extreme roller coasters, or taking a trip underwater to a Jurassic Sea World, all of this and more is possible in VR. Furthermore, with the use of motion platforms users can actually feel, as well as see the action.

For the first time VR gives users the ability to experience all the thrills of a theme park, the racing track, the aquarium, or a journey back in time without ever having to leave the High Street.

As online shopping has made the experience easier and more convenient, VR is in its own way doing exactly the same for days out.”

Martin Higginson, CEO at Immotion VR Tweet

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