Immotion Group to open new VR Experience Centres
UK-based immersive VR company, Immotion Group, has announced the acquisition of a new range of ImmotionVR Experience Centre sites and revenue partnerships (“Concession Partnerships”). This is expected to increase the number of installed VR headsets, (“seats”) from 105 today to 191, an increase of 82%.
Two new major Concession Partnerships have been secured with The Rank Group in the UK, and the Al Hokair Group. The latter is the Group’s first major Concession relationship in the Middle East.
Strong trading has been reported in the UK ImmotionVR Experience Centres, including its operational entertainment concessions, particularly given the recent half-term school holidays. The ‘Edutainment’ Concession in W5 Belfast saw particularly strong performance
Immotion Group are also initiating its first US roll out, as an Experience Centre test site will launch in LA, and further significant partnerships are at advanced stages of negotiation.
Martin Higginson, CEO of Immotion Group said: “Our VR revenues have grown rapidly since listing following the consistent roll out of our owned and operated ImmotionVR Experience Centres and our entry into numerous Concession Partnerships. We are very pleased with the reception our experiences are receiving from consumers and while VR still has a long way to go, it is clearly here to stay given the five-star Trip Advisor ratings across the majority of our sites, alongside increasing numbers of returning customers. We have a first mover advantage and each week we learn, helping us refine our offering for the future.”
Opening of Additional ImmotionVR Experience Centres
Immotion Group will open a further five VR Experience Centres in the UK before the end of 2018, bringing the total number in the UK to 12 when the roll-out is complete.
Two of these will be opened in shopping centres owned by Intu, which sees the Company expanding the relationship outlined with the leading shopping centre operator in the announcement dated 5 September 2018.
The additional sites will be opened in high footfall retail and leisure locations as follows:
- Soar leisure destination at Braehead, Glasgow (Intu)
- The Metro Centre in Newcastle (Intu)
- London Designer Outlet, Wembley Park
- The Brunel in Swindon
- Star City, Birmingham
The Company believes there are opportunities to open VR experience centres in most primary shopping malls in larger cities in the UK and USA with a target of 50 in the UK and 100 in the USA in the next 24 months.
Further Concession Partnerships
In line with its strategy to grow its Concession base, by working with large established multi-site leisure operators, the Company is pleased to announce that it has secured two new Concession Partners, which is anticipated to substantially increase the number of installed seats. These will add to the existing range of VR centres currently operating on a Concession basis:
- VR Entertainment Centre in LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre, Boston USA – Merlin Entertainment
- VR Entertainment Centre in LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre, Manchester, UK – Merlin Entertainment
- VR Centre at Genting Resorts World in Birmingham
- VR ‘Edutainment’ concession in partnership with W5 Museum in Belfast, Northern Ireland
These relationships offer valuable ancillary revenue from a new attraction for the partner and access to large, proven and established leisure audiences for Immotion Group. By carefully selecting partners and testing formats before full roll-out, the Company believes this can be a very significant and attractive channel for rapid scaling of the Group.
Al Hokair Group
The first of these contracts is a major partnership agreement with the Al Hokair Group for the roll out of ImmotionVR centres across the GCC countries. The Al Hokair Group is a significant owner and operator of leisure destinations in the Middle East. Over the last five decades, Al Hokair Group has grown into a leading leisure and hospitality group with 79 entertainment centres and 34 hotels across Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Al Hokair is listed on the Saudi Stock Exchange.
The revenue sharing partnership will see Immotion Group and Al Hokair initially open an ImmotionVR Experience Centre in Abu Dhabi, with further centres to follow based on test results. Immotion Group will provide the VR equipment, marketing collateral, and staff training, with Al Hokair providing the sites, staff and utilities.
Rank Leisure Group plc (“Rank Leisure”)
In the UK, the company has entered into a revenue sharing partnership with Rank Leisure to trial the Company’s new VR Racing Challenge offering, a realistic VR car racing simulator game where customers can race against around some of the World’s most famous circuits.
The first will be opened at a Grosvenor Casino in Manchester in early December, 2018, with further sites to be rolled out based on test results. Rank has 54 Grosvenor casino sites in the UK.
The Company is also opening two smaller sites through concession partnerships with Weston Pier in Somerset and Meet Space VR in Nottingham. Meet Space VR recently opened a Zero Latency free roaming VR centre in Intu’s Victoria shopping centre in Nottingham.
New Proprietary VR Experiences
Immotion Group continues to add new proprietary experiences to its portfolio. It is pleased to announce the launch of two new cutting-edge VR experiences produced exclusively in its Manchester studios. The first is ‘Jinxed’ – a curious VR ghost train experience through a strange and bizarre fun house ride, and the second ‘Elf Power Inc.’ – a magical journey alongside Santa’s elves as they deliver Christmas in their own special way.
Immotion Group is also in the final stages of post-production for a ground-breaking live action VR undersea ‘Edutainment’ Experience – ‘Swimming with Humpbacks’ – to add to its ‘Legend of Lusca’ underwater experience. This was led by the Company’s live action studio in LA.
All experiences will be available in all ImmotionVR Experience Centres and selected Concessions.