Despite the COVID-19 pandemic’s persistence, location-based VR entertainment company Sandbox VR is planning to open a new site in Las Vegas this summer, literally filling in The Void’s old spot.
The company, which operates multiplayer VR experiences based on original IP and brands like Star Trek, has signed a contract to open a site at the Grand Canal Shoppes inside The Venetian hotel. This was one of a handful of locations that VR competitor The Void once occupied with experiences themed around properties like Star Wars and Marvel. But the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 ushered in an era of difficulty for the VR arcade industry and both The Void and Sandbox VR along with other location-based VR businesses faced closures across the globe.
Sandbox VR Las Vegas Site Coming
While the pandemic continues, Sandbox is betting on near-term recovery in the US to bring its business back to health. However much uncertainty remains surrounding the pace at which the world can recover from COVID-19. Sandbox has reopened certain sites in the US and is taking booking again but, as long as the pandemic persists, location-based VR experiences could be a risky proposition in terms of hygiene and distancing. For its part, the company stresses that bookings will be kept separate from other parties, equipment will be sanitized and mask-wearing will be required.
“We have been incredibly fortunate to have been able to survive such a devastating year for everyone in the retail and entertainment industry,” Steve Zhao, founder and CEO of Sandbox VR, said in a prepared statement. “The pandemic has been so isolating for everyone that we are confident once it is safe to gather with friends and family from different households they will be looking for social experiences that offer some fun and escape from the difficulties that 2020 brought.”