Getting VR headsets into the casual user’s hands and households is one of the ongoing struggles of the industry. Other than the mobile solutions, additional peripherals are not at consumer friendly price points yet and likely won’t be for a while, but there are events being held around the world and even some advertising and marketing opportunities that give people the chance to check things out.
Despite that reality, there’s one industry that has dabbled in VR for a long time and remains unafraid to invest in the technology as it evolves: theme parks. We previously reported on a growing VR theme park initiative when SPACES Inc partnered with Songcheng Performance Development for a $30 million venture, and that mission is being furthered in a big way with additional funding.
Announced via press release, SPACES Inc has acquired a significant sum in additional funding led by Songcheng with help from Comcast Ventures. The $6.5 million also includes contributions from companies like Boost VC, The Venture Reality Fund, and others that were part of the previous funding for SPACES so it’s clear that they continue to believe that a SPACES Inc-powered VR theme park will be a profitable idea.
“Through our SPACES Parks & Attractions division, we’re fundamentally re-imagining the theme park experience with stunning advances in VR technology,” says SPACES co-founder and CEO Shiraz Akmal in the prepared statement. “Together with our Songcheng joint venture, this new capital expands our efforts to create entirely new kinds of VR-enabled destinations.”
There aren’t any details available to the public yet about what extent theme parks will be weaving virtual and mixed reality into attractions, but one of the new additions to the Spaces Inc board of directors paints an interesting picture for this program’s potential. In addition to Michael Yang of Comcast and Songcheng’s Ethan Wang, SPACES Inc will be welcoming DreamWorks Animation CFO Fazal Merchant to the board. Having a stronger relationship with the animators responsible for Shrek, How To Train Your Dragon, and Kung-Fu Panda doesn’t guarantee that licensed content from the production company will appear as part of VR attractions, but it could be a hint of them heading that direction.