A regulatory filing confirms what’s been clear for some time — the IMAX VR experiment is over.
We first set eyes on IMAX VR’s efforts early last year with its well-equipped pods featuring HTC Vives and an early StarVR prototype we noted lacked the smoothness expected from a paid VR experience.
The location was also separated from a theater multiplex so it was unlikely to get much foot traffic — an odd choice for the premiere location of the IMAX brand of VR arcades. We’ve reported on earlier closures, but this latest filing is the nail in the coffin for IMAX VR.
From the filing:
In connection with the Company’s previously-announced strategic review of its virtual reality pilot initiative, the Company has decided to close its remaining VR locations and write-off certain VR content investments.
Many of the virtual worlds IMAX VR embraced for selling tickets were readily available on home VR systems. Other types of location-based VR, like The VOID and Dreamscape Immersive, however, have roll-outs planned heading into 2019 for a caliber of immersion that is unattainable at home. Some of those locations are in the highest foot traffic areas on the planet with brands like Ghostbusters or Star Wars offering exclusive experiences meant to draw people in — so we will be curious to see how those perform over time.