Photos posted to a discussion forum taken at what looks like Downtown Disney in California suggest The VOID’s location there was “in default’ and had its lease terminated by Disney.
The VOID provides high-end VR experiences built around Disney-backed properties like Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire, Avengers: Damage Control and Ralph Breaks VR. The VOID and other types of location-based VR entertainment venues have been largely closed since March after closure orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic, though some places have reopened.
In the case of the Anaheim VOID, the location closed on March 17 and, according to a source familiar with the The VOID’s Downtown Disney operations, the staff was on paid leave through the end of March and on unpaid furlough since then. The source also passed along that the VOID’s management is in talks with Disney about the notice.
We’ve reached out to both Disney and The VOID for further comment.
While the current generation of VR arcades and other types of location-based VR-driven entertainment venues were never on solid ground to begin with, the pandemic may well have put the nail in the coffin for many locations. In another blow, last week Facebook and its subsidiary Beat Games told arcades to pull one of the most popular titles — Facebook-owned Beat Saber — by the end of July.
The VOID is a Utah-based startup offering premium experiences that are backpack-driven and can cost well over $100 total for a family of four to have a roughly 30-minute experience in VR. The experiences are multi-room stories often enhanced by wind, heat and haptic effects that aren’t readily available at home. The VOID’s first major project was connected to Ghostbusters and in 2017 the startup joined Disney’s startup accelerator program. The VOID also has a Disney-connected location at Disney Springs in Florida, with other locations in other major cities around the world.