How Immersive Experiences Are Engaging Gamers In The Real World
Game developers and entertainment companies are enhancing their connections with fans through AR and real-world experiences
Video game studios and other entertainment companies are creating immersive and mixed reality experiences to bring narratives off the screen, enhance the connection between brands and fans, and encourage gamers to engage both digitally and in real life.
A recent survey found that 59% of gamers consider the story when buying a title; it was the third-highest influencing factor behind quality of graphics and price. With narrative being of great importance in gaming, PSFK researchers explored immersive activations that bring game narratives to life:
Sega × Tempest Academy
Sega partnered with parkour gym Tempest Academy to turn the workout space into a massive level from its Sonic the Hedgehog games. Attendees had the chance to see how well they could traverse Sonic’s challenges in real life. The course included a series of gold rings, a famous item the main protagonist of the game collects, for participants to try to grab or dive through as they jumped from ledge to ledge. Social media influencers and parkour professionals were invited to show off their skills and broadcast to their followers.
Entertainment startup The Void is a virtual reality gaming center with 60-by-60-foot rooms where people can physically play while immersed in a simulated world. The rooms are covered in foam and look dull to the naked eye, but VR headsets transform each of them into immersive gaming experiences. The Void has unveiled plans to open Experience Centers in The Venetian/Palazzo hotel (specifically, the Grand Canal Shoppes) in Las Vegas and the Glendale Galleria in Glendale, California. Both new locations will showcase Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire, an experience where visitors go undercover as a Stormtrooper.
Niantic Labs, the creator of Pokemon Go, and Warner Bros Interactive are co-developing an augmented reality mobile game to launch Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. The interactive app will give fans of the book series and movie franchise a chance to go back to Hogwarts via an immersive experience that encourages players to navigate the real world to find power-ups, cast spells and advance the story. The game will involve players to turn real-world streets, neighborhoods and cities into a global game board, and bring people together in a shared digital reality.
AR company Magic Leap created the Magic Leap One system, which is comprised of a sensor-enabled headset, a computer attached by a cable and a handheld control. The system allows users to interact with high-resolution virtual images overlaid onto the real world. Use cases include browsing the web in a more immersive way, such as shopping for handbags as they float on the table in front of users, turning a living room into a digital sports bar with screens on every surface, and playing video games with graphics all over the physical setting.
For more on the evolving landscape of immersive, cross-platform and mixed reality experiences in gaming, download our recent research paper Building the Next Gaming Experience.
Lead Image: The Void
PSFK’s CXI 2018 conference brings to life key trends in customer experience through talks and activations by pioneers at well known and new companies.
Erica is a humanitarian and a technologist who Co-Leads UNICEF's Innovation Unit. UNICEF Innovation has recognized success in innovative design of development solutions. In 2013, she was chosen by Time Magazine to be on the Time 100 list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Wearable X CEO Billie Whitehouse spoke to PSFK 2017 about designing wearables for all five senses and maintaining a sense of humor