Just before the pandemic was exciting for the growing VR arcade sector. VR was carving out its niche in the videogame industry and developers were experimenting with new gameplay mechanics and ways of drawing consumers into venues. One of the most successful location-based entertainment (LBE) companies at the time was The Void. Unfortunately, like Icarus, it all came crashing down. Recently, however, The Void has been teasing its VR arcade comeback.
As spotted by The Verge, The Void’s official YouTube channel has posted a couple of new videos. What makes this interesting is the fact that nothing has been posted for three whole years. Furthermore, one of the videos teases a suggestion that the comeback might be happening later this year.
You may notice, however, that none of the footage is new. All of it is recut content from The Void’s previous promotional material. So there’s no indication just yet as to what the company is planning. Because we’d like to step back into the Star Wars experience if we could.
The demise of The Void VR Arcade
In its heyday, The Void was closely affiliated with Disney. This collaboration meant it had exclusive games like Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire, Wreck-it-Ralph, Jumanji and The Avengers. However, things turned sour between the two, with Disney shutting its Downtown Disney locations in the US and most crucially, withdrawing the rights to use its intellectual property.
In 2020, whilst other VR arcades were closing simply due to no footfall, The Void was getting a triple battering. In addition to the Disney situation and no customers, the company defaulted on a loan. That ensured its complete demise, well almost.
Then in 2021, Hyper Reality Partners acquired The Void’s patents and trademarks. HRP – run by Adrian Steckel, a previous investor and board member of The Void – had managed to raise $20 million to bring the arcade back. In 2022, The Void’s website made a reappearance, further confirming a return. And now we’ve got new (old) videos popping up, so it seems that slowly but surely something is happening.
Did you ever go to The Void? Let us know your memories of the once-great VR arcade.