31 May 2019
HTC is planning to open Viveport Arcades in the United States, Europe, China and Taiwan. The company announced at the 2016 VR Developers Conference in San Francisco, California, that it’s goal is to open thousands of such locations around the world before the end of 2017 under its "Viveport Arcade" programme. To those unfamiliar, Viveport Arcade is a location-based VR entertainment that exclusively caters to virtual reality. One of the biggest challenges facing VR is that virtual reality headsets are still expensive and majority of people cannot afford to purchase their own VR setup. By bringing more VR arcades, HTC wants to address such problem. In this way the general public can be given a chance to experience VR.
HTC will license the software commercially to movie theaters, cafes, and full VR arcades. Retailers will thus be able to set up their own public VR spaces and use games like The Brookhaven Experiment and Everest VR to entertain customers through the Viveport app. HTC has already opened Viveland in Taiwan last week.
Developers can opt in to the program by listing their projects on the Viveport app store. HTC and developers will split the profits from the Viveport app between themselves. Currently, 120 experiences are available. Pricing has not yet been finalized though the costs range from $5 to $13.
HTC plans to turn VR into a $100 million industry over the next two years by bringing more VR headsets into the hands of consumers. HTC will have to compete with a variety of other companies though offering their own VR location-based entertainment to take advantage of the market.