Entertainment Center Bets Big on Attraction of VR Rides

Who doesn’t love an evening at Dave & Busters? The restaurant/entertainment center combines burgers, beer and great video games to create a playground for grown-ups. The powers that be at the restaurant chain have committed big bucks into using VR to make things even more exciting for their customers.

Betting on virtual reality (VR), Dave & Buster’s commenced its biggest game launch in the company’s history with the new “Jurassic World VR Expedition” ride, according to CEO Brian Jenkins during the company’s second quarter 2018 earnings call Friday.

“Guest response has been strong and bodes well for future game releases on this platform,” Jenkins said, adding that the company planned to launch a second VR title towards the end of the year. “The plan is to build a library of VR content that allows us to capitalize on this opportunity for years to come. …Guest response has been strong and bodes well for us,” Jenkins said.

Dave & Buster’s launched “Jurassic World VR Expedition” in over 100 locations across the U.S. and Canada in June. The ride combines motion chairs with HTC Vive VR headsets, allowing up to four players at a time to enter the world of the movie franchise together. Despite the fact its launch near the end of the second quarter, the ride has already been “meaningfully incremental” to Dave & Buster’s Q2 2018 revenue, Jenkins said. In fact, the chain has seen so much interest in the attraction, it’s considering launching a second motion chair platform in additional locations. Currently, Dave & Buster’s operates a single four-seat motion chair platform at most of its locations.

The company reported Friday that it had generated $319.2 million in revenue in Q2, up 13.7% from last year’s Q2 results of $280.8 million. Net income of for the quarter was $33.8 million, or $0.84 per diluted share, up from $30.4 million in Q2 of 2017. Investors responded to this by sending the stock up 7.88% for the day.

The Virtual Reality Company (VRC), in cooperation with Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment and Universal Studios, developed “Jurassic World VR Expedition,” already one of the most successful commercial VR partnerships for a major motion picture studio to date.

“This will be the first time that a studio receives a 7-figure check for VR,” VRC CEO Guy Primus recently told Variety.