The future of entertainment is going to be pretty different to what we’ve experienced before and it’s gonna be fun times ahead! When video games hit the scene years back, they were played on a solo basis but pretty quickly they became more social, with gamers from around the world connecting to play eachother – from their own living rooms. This inter-connectivity between gamers based in their own location continues to grow but there’s a new trend now too – Location-Based Entertainment (LBE). This is basically any form of entertainment that takes place outside of the home in a specific location but that you can enjoy from your home.
People will be able to enjoy full-on experiences like high-tech escape rooms and or fully immersive haunted house tours or they could be standing on the pitch watching a game at their favourite sports stadium. In order to get the best set up possible, you need the help of good AV integrators, as the creation of these digital experiences depends heavily on high-quality audio and video equipment and on the way these are configured. The quality of the AV set-up can make the difference between a new LBE experience being a hit or a flop…
All sorts of public spaces are now becoming home to various location-based entertainment. Places like bowling alleys, amusement parks, water parks and even local shopping centres who are eager to increase footfall. The demand for immersive entertainment experiences are on the rise, so if you want to join the party be sure to make your experience stand out! That means finding the right AV company who can help with design, installation and servicing the tech set-up in these spaces.
It is Happening – But will it Last?
LBE is having its moment on the world stage – and quite possibly it’s not finished just yet. Many LBE projects rely heavily on a VR component to really immerse the user in the experience. VR however has been experiencing some growing pains in its acceptance amongst the home-based market. So many believe location-based entertainment can act as a gateway to introduce VR to the masses and get people enthusiastic about it.
Some are betting big like Area 15 in Las Vegas, who is going all in (!). Although if you were going to bet big on something like this, there’s no better place than Vegas! Due to open in early 2020, Area 15 introduces itself as “an experiential retail and entertainment complex offering live events, immersive activations, art installations, and much more.” It will basically be a mall of immersive experiences, with Art/Entertainment collective MEOW WOLF set to be the star of the show. So, stay tuned, this has the potential to be a prime LBE case-study!
But for now, what can a gambit like Area 15 and smaller projects tell us about the potential of these new location-based entertainment experiences?
What Direction will LBE Take?
LBE is not easily defined. VR and AR are big components, but there are limitless directions it could go….
A VR arcade might be an entry-point for some clients to dip a toe into the world of LBE. It is an efficient use of space, and people can rent the VR equipment to use.
VR escape games are already a growing sector. Every town you visit these days seems to have an escape room and adding a VR component should be a no brainer! Companies like Avatarico and Ubisoft are creating experiences geared toward group play and corporate events. Similar to the arcade scenario, this is an easier point of entry to the market as not a lot of space or equipment is needed.
Art Installations: The world of technology has seen so much evolution in terms of displays, lighting, projection, VR and so much more. This means that tech-driven art installations can be complicated to both set up and maintain. So if you wish to keep installations functioning as the artist intended, the expertise of AV integrators is needed.
Free-roam LBE: The target here being large spaces and large/multiple groups for this VR experience. Ever wanted to go paintballing but didn’t want to deal with the mess… or the pain? Then this is the LBE you’re looking for. This is the kind of installation however that requires a lot of planning and will definitely evolve over time, the more people and tech providers engage with it.
Pop-Up LBEs like the haunted house attraction or other seasonal projects can be the perfect filler for any gaps in your promotion schedule. Attractions like these could even become a source of recurring income when you deliver on an experience that patrons consider to be a must do.
eSports – why do people gather together to watch other people play video games? Who knows, but the same might be said for regular sports, depending on who you ask… Whether you understand this phenomenon or not doesn’t change the fact that this is an exciting new multi-million-dollar industry within location-based entertainment.
Is LBE in Your Future?
The world of entertainment is changing rapidly. If you’re an entertainment provider and don’t want to be left in the dark ages you should start asking yourself, is location-based entertainment a right fit for me and how can I use this opportunity to create something great?
If you have any questions or need any help with your networked AV setup – please don’t hesitate to contact us.