Live OOH Experiences dive into the exciting mix of post-pandemic entertainment | Remark

The live experience with digital interactivity has emerged in a big way in the entertainment space, but is just one of many technological innovations underway.

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One of the new applications and technologies to enter the out-of-home entertainment landscape has been the deployment of “gamification” and “interactivity” to live experiences. Whether it’s the use of immersive digital screens in live entertainment or the ability to capture the actions and scores of guests and relay them during an immersive theatrical performance.

One of the new immersive box developments that relies more on a digital game application than a digital screen presentation has been introduced by Magnetag. The company revised an earlier concept and created a 120 square foot enclosure with the “Magnetag Electric Dojo”, a turnkey system complete with lighted walls, dots, combat vests and foam weapons. This is an interesting concept in the gamification of playful activities with scoring and repetition value.

Many will be familiar with live role-playing (“Larp’ing”) in murder mystery, D&D experiments, and secret cinema. Interpreters are used as part of the experience to guide the narrative. One of the most famous apps to date is “Quark’s Bar” in the Las Vegas Star Trek: Experience.

The live experience with digital interactivity has emerged in a big way in the entertainment space, but is just one of many technological innovations underway.

Theme parks set the tone

Recently, major theme parks have started to invest in this application, and we have seen the immersive hotel experience launched by Walt Disney with its “Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser”.

The concept allows guests to pay top dollar to experience two nights at a hotel that fully immerses guests in the Star Wars universe, including live actors and immersive experiences. Even after a backlash over high prices to book (costs up to $6,000 per quoted stay), Walt Disney revealed the hotel is now sold out for its first four months from opening this month.

London was the latest beneficiary of this kind of approach – as part of the UK government’s Audience of the Future initiative Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

Funding has been granted to create a research and development project, called “Lost Origin Experience” – developed by studio Factory 42 and presented in partnership with Almeida Theater and broadcaster Sky.

It’s a mix of immersive escape room, live performance, and AR experience, led by live performances from the assembled cast to drive the narrative.

Small audience groups navigate a clandestine investigation and paranormal experience as a story. The unique element of this latest adaptation of immersive theater was what was called the first-ever large-scale AR experience deployed with Magic Leap headsets.

The project started in 2018, in collaboration with the AR headset company. The experiment was only open for a short evaluation period, from November 21 to December 4, 2021, as a proof of concept.

Nintendo, not to be outdone, has announced that it will spend some $2.7 billion over the next few years on theme park development, some of which is based on the company’s involvement with Universal. Studios, but is also considering stand-alone attractions and location-based entertainment projects. this would also include their own sites.

More to join the fray

Lionsgate, Netflix, Ubisoft, Hasbro and Mattel are just a few of the names that have revealed dedicated investment in this OOH space – with many more on the way.

The Paramount organization, with an extensive library of properties, has been revealed by Variety to have concluded an $8 billion project to open an 1,899-acre Paramount resort in Kumming – the capital of China’s Yunnan province. The vast undertaking would make it the third-largest themed resort based on Hollywood properties after Shanghai Disneyland and Universal Beijing.

Across the pond, Accesso Technology Group PLC, a publicly traded tech player based in Berkshire, UK, has signed a three-year partnership with Illuminarium Experiences to operate the Las Vegas version of their Immersive Theater installation. This venue will be part of the Area 15 entertainment hub, and is now planned to be rolled out using the “Accesso Passport” e-commerce and ticketing suite, as well as the “Ingresso” ticketing distribution platform.

Traditional movers on the go

Meanwhile, the more traditional entertainment trade in the West has resurfaced after the deprivations of the lockdown and post-COVID business landscape.

Sega Amusement International introduced “Men In Black”, a two-player mounted shooter that offered Videmption capability with ticket sales, a first for SAI. The cabinet was a standard configuration with a style called “neo-futuristic”, based on the popular Columbia Pictures franchise, a division of Sony Pictures.

To support this, SAI also revealed a new version of a previously released title featuring the two-player stand-up version of “Mission Impossible: Arcade”. This takes the 55-inch screen, two-player stance, and four-player Deluxe Cabinet (SDX) unique mounted gun controllers and creates a standard (SD) amusement ladder piece.

It seems Western entertainment distributors have been slow to revert to type and offer both SD and SDX alternatives.

But SAI’s big new development is “VR Agent”, marking its entry into virtual reality. Although manufactured and distributed in China by Wahlap, the new piece will be represented in North America and Europe by SAI – the unattended attraction is another example of self-service VR kiosks with the ability to network up to four cabinets.

The system uses the new approach of merging the gun controller into the VR headset. Interestingly, this makes Sega’s Western amusement operation the latest major distributor to include a VR offering in its library. The Western team has been surprisingly reluctant to jump into virtual waters so far and a factor in that decision was SAI’s previous involvement with “ATV Slam” developer 3MindWave. SAI is working closely with the team to conceptualize the new VR product.

As for license holder and former parent of SAI, Sega Corp. announced the signing of a far-reaching “strategic alliance” with software and console giant Microsoft and its Xbox operation. The deal will see Sega content placed on console and online portal services and will include exclusive launches of licensed properties and characters.

The move is seen as massively helping Microsoft establish its console in the Japanese region and cementing a library of content that will appeal to Asian and Western gamers.

The live experience with digital interactivity has clearly emerged in a big way in the entertainment space, but it’s just one of many technological innovations underway.

(Editor’s note: Excerpts from this blog are from recent coverage in The Stinger Report, published by KWP and its director, Kevin Williams, the leading interactive out-of-home entertainment news service covering the immersive frontier and beyond.)

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