Muckleshoot Casino’s virtual reality system proving a success

Muckleshoot Casino’s virtual reality system proving a success

Friday, March 17, 2017

Over recent years, the twin technological innovations of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have been enjoying something of a renaissance in the out-of-home leisure sector, as operators seek to bolster their entertainment offering using the latest immersive technologies.

Although the virtual reality sector enjoyed an R&D boom in the 1990s, both commercial and domestic applications of VR innovations remained costly, and this resulted in somewhat limited real-world use. This, of course, is no longer the case. VR is now being used for a variety of innovative purposes, from workplace training to entertainment, while anyone with a smartphone can enjoy advanced AR experiences at the touch of a button.

The theme park and family entertainment centre sectors were among the first to realise the possibilities offered by the latest generation of VR and AR systems, but December marked a new chapter for immersive technologies in the out-of-home leisure industry, as Muckleshoot Casino in Washington state installed a wireless, full-motion, multi-player VR system from VRstudios.

The revolutionary VR system is being offered in the casino’s popular nightlife venue, Club Galaxy. One- and two-player experiences transport guests back in time to a town overrun by zombies or into the midst of a Western-style shoot-out. The move makes Muckleshoot Casino the first gaming facility in North America to offer streaming wireless VR – and it is already proving to be a hit with customers.

“With VRstudios, Muckleshoot Casino is now home to a new form of entertainment never before offered, not only in the region, but in casino gaming, said Conrad Granito, the casino’s general manager.

“Our ground-breaking partnership ensures our ability to continually offer the newest forms of VR games. It reflects our commitment to delivering unique, must-experience entertainment to our guests. We chose VRstudios for its superior VR capabilities and rich immersive content.”

At the leading edge of innovation in the sector, VRstudios is the first company to offer an all-in-one VR solution bundle, including its own experience management software, wireless headsets and interactive devices, entertainment content and developer tools.

The entertainment industry is proving to be serious business for VRstudios. The company has installed its VR systems and content with customers and partners in eleven countries throughout Asia, Europe, Middle East, Russia and North America.

During recent months, the group has attracted high-visibility relationships and partnerships with entertainment and distribution leaders across the world, such as Universal Studios Orlando, Meraas’ Hub Zero in Dubai, Korea’s Simuline, Smartlaunch in Europe, and North America’s Stampede.

“The VRstudios system and content installed at Muckleshoot Casino is a standalone experience system – using our original content, software, hardware and proprietary platform,” explained Jamie Kelly, co-founder and director of e-sports for VRstudios.

“VRstudios has been a strong and long-time believer in the application of VR in the location-based and out-of-home entertainment venues. Due to this focus and the differentiating characteristics of our technology and solutions, we are receiving interest from and working with several such companies on specialised applications.”

Kelly added: “Following the Muckleshoot Casino announcement, we are receiving interest from other casino organisations. We also believe that out-of-home entertainment venues will allow VR experiences to be more accessible and will encourage the adoption of VR/AR across all segments – consumer and enterprise.

“Due to customer interest and our successful track record, out-of-home entertainment – theme parks, family entertainment centres, arcades, casinos, movie theatres – will continue to be a big focal point for VRstudios.

TotallyGaming says: Just three months after its launch, the VRstudios experience is already attracting new customers to the biggest casino in the Pacific Northwest. According to Junior Maldonado, entertainment manager at Muckleshoot Casino, some customers have played VRstudios games “more than 15 times in a single night”. In today’s highly competitive casino market, operators are more aware than ever of the need to diversify their entertainment offering to drive footfall to their venues. Now, following the successful installation at Muckleshoot Casino, it’s clear that virtual reality has joined the list of value-added services.

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