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Key Insights from the Immersive Gaming Rooms Session at the VR Arcade Summit

If you didn’t make it to this session in March, we have a bootleg recording thanks to Inowize, makers of QBIX.

QBIX is the most affordable and compact immersive gaming room attraction available. If you’re interested in more info on how to add an immersive gaming room to your FEC or entertainment center, email greg@thevrcollective.com 

I captured some of the key insights below, edited for brevity and clarity, but you can watch the session in full on YouTube.

These Rooms represent a thrilling fusion of virtual and mixed reality with an arcade game’s familiar, user-friendly operation. By leveraging cutting-edge tracking and haptic technology, they overcome the limitations of traditional headset-based systems. Not only do they offer an unparalleled gaming experience, but they also serve as captivating spectacles that entice viewers to become active participants.

I moderated the session with Pete Stearns from Dave and Buster’s, who had just started rolling out their Arena concept, Kevin Williams, whose Spider Entertainment has advised Merlin on their rollout of Immersive Gamebox, Arthur Loring, who operates QBIX at his Fun Factor FEC in Canada, and Stephan Murariu, from Inowize.

On Being Easy to Play

Pete Stearns: We operate 220 locations if you include Main Event. We don’t focus on gamers, we want casual social entertainment. It had to be easily playable.

Our customers are everyone: 8-year-olds and 65-year-olds. D&B marketing targets young adults, but families are a huge part of that. Games need to be intuitive so they can be far-reaching. You have about 20 seconds for someone to understand something.

Everybody operates basketball games and always performs because they’re a) competitive and b) easy to understand. We spent six months trying 120 different gameplay versions in The Arena before we settled on the eight we launched with. Soon, we will be up to twelve. And we are still learning.

On Curb Appeal

Arthur Loring: We have about 10,000 square feet of FEC with bumper cars, laser tag, a big arcade, mini-bowling, and a laser maze, which was getting old. So we were looking to replace it. We wanted another attraction that was attendant-free and had incredible curb appeal. We saw QBIX and said, “Holy shit that looks amazing!”


“Holy shit that looks amazing!”


On Parties

Arthur: It was important that parents could play with the kids, and we could have six people in there. While we also see adults play exclusively, it’s been amazing for parties. We are bundling it into party packages and attraction passes. People choose between laser tag, bumper cars, mini bowling, and QBIX. They only get a couple of choices, and QBIX has been one of the most popular, especially for parties.


“QBIX has been one of the most popular, especially for parties.”


On Unattended

Kevin Williams: I like to say light touch attended. These machines do need to have some human interaction. Social entertainment still requires some people to be involved in the loop.

Arthur: When people walk up to it, they don’t know exactly what this game is. Our team members know how to detect when people are unsure, and they will walk up to them and help them start. Once they start the first game, they get it right away.

Pete: I went to the movie theater to see Dune 2, and like many people, I bought my tickets on an app. I walked past the box office, and it was empty. Self-service kiosks are everywhere. We have a kiosk. At McDonald’s, I use theirs even though it takes me 8 minutes to make a meal. Customers self-serve through the Arena kiosk, but we also offer a concierge who will set them up. Then, the servers take over for food and beverages.


“Self-service kiosks are everywhere.”


On Return on Investment

Pete: Sometimes you need to take a leap of faith. You must know that you’re buying something that’s not going to pay off in months like a typical arcade game. We are chasing something larger than just ROI. That’s the leap of faith.

Arthur: QBIX was an investment that added another attraction. The ROI holds its own with the bumper cars, mini bowling, and laser tag.


“The ROI holds its own with the bumper cars, mini bowling, and laser tag.”


Check out the VR Collective page on interactive gaming rooms to view product details and get pricing on products in this category. Fill out the popup to save $250 after negotiating your best deal.

For more reading on Immersive Gaming Rooms, you can check out the feature in Replay Magazine. Or my blog at BobCooney.com 

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