Many predict that VR arcades will be a key means of revenue for the industry in these early days, but how do you get people in to try it in the first place? Ctrl V thinks it has the answer.
The North American VR arcade chain this week announced a new initiative to raise awareness of VR tech. Every first Wednesday of the month the company’s US and Canadian locations including arcades in New Jersey and North Carolina will offer free 20 minute demos to new customers. These demos will include Beat Games’ ever-popular Beat Saber and arcade-style wave shooter, Space Pirate Trainer, while a third demo will be switched out every month too.
Ctrl V says it welcomes over 10,000 new customers a month and that around 80% of these people have their first VR experience in an arcade. The idea behind the free demos, then, is to simply increase the word of mouth and get more people through the door. The company is also planning Subscriber Reward Days, in which customers signed up to its newsletter will be given a code and date to come and try out discounted demos too.
“If you haven’t tried [VR] before, it’s hard to truly understand why it’s so compelling,” Ctrl V CEO Ryan Brooks explained in a prepared statement. “Many customers are apprehensive of new technology or are nervous about experiencing motion sickness. Though both of these factors have been virtually eliminated by the latest advancements in VR hardware and the high-caliber content we offer, we want to provide customers with zero-risk opportunities to experience this for themselves.”
Finally, Ctrl V announced a Referral Program that will launch soon, giving existing customers a $10 gift card for every new customer they refer. It’ll be interesting to see if these efforts really do push more customers through the door, and what other VR arcades could learn from it if so.