Growing Your Virtual Reality Arcade
How VR Arcades are expanding their stations and reach with SpringboardVR
Although some Virtual Reality Arcades start off small, testing only a handful of stations in the beginning, many are opting to add as many stations as they possibly can.
VR Arcades are opening up all over the world and as the public becomes more acclimated and familiar with this new technology, so will its demand for VR. To accommodate this, VR Arcades are expanding––consequently making the process of running a VR Arcade much more difficult.
Although headset prices are dropping, adding computers and headsets to a VR Arcade have costs that extend far beyond the hardware. With additional headsets and customers, comes the need for extra employees.
Luckily, VR Arcade management software like SpringboardVR helps to alleviate the stress caused by running & operating multiple stations at one time.
SpringboardVR started out with a semi-working prototype of the current launcher when we launched our VR Arcade in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. We started contacting other VR Arcades and letting them use the software in exchange for feedback. After about two months of feedback, we decided to pivot and fully focus on developing the software into its own company.
Jess Albrecht, VR Manager at Virtual Sports in Tukwila, Washington, said without SpringboardVR there would be a lot more running around and their business model might even have to be altered.
“We’d probably need more employees to operate the area and we’d probably restrict people’s experiences to one or two,” Albrecht said. “Maybe have them pick ahead of time, that way we could manage it. When you have people starting at different times it becomes more difficult to manage, so SpringboardVR helps us out quite a bit with that.”
“Before, we were running Windows timers but still had to be everywhere at once to keep track of everything,” Albrecht said.
SpringboardVR has numerous features that help VR Arcade operators streamline their day-to-day operations.
Virtual Sports originally started by testing out one station but quickly installed an additional 12 in their VR Arcade.
Albrecht said the way SpringboardVR manages both the VR Arcade and the experience for the customer helps business run smoothly.
“SpringboardVR has helped a lot by letting customers pick their own experience, as well as switch between them which we used to basically do by hand before,” Albrecht said. “It helps us manage the customers time and even helps them manage it because customers tend to lose track of their time.”
“SpringboardVR helps with our operation and improves our customers experience,” Albrecht said.
Jason Van Hierden, CEO of VRKade in Canada, runs 20 stations at one of his locations using SpringboardVR but says he thinks VR Arcades will start opening with more stations than ever before.
“I see myself as a small fish in this industry and I look around and we have the largest VR Arcade of its kind in the world,” Van Hierden said. “But in the next six months to a year there are people that will open arcades with 40 or 60 or 80 stations and SpringboardVR will be useful because managing lots of people is difficult.”
“Anything that can help with that will be huge and I don’t think you guys [SpringboardVR] have even come close to scratching the surface of what you’ll offer.”
Van Hierden said for him, the user interface that SpringboardVR provides is one of the key features to helping him run his arcade and said it is a vital cog in the clock.
“Pressing the menu button and getting two buttons, ‘help’ or ‘back to menu’–– that’s amazing,” Van Hierden said. “Before customers had 75 buttons, they had no idea what to do and they’d have to take the headset off and ask for help. But SpringboardVR simplified it down to ‘help’ in the menu which made the entire system easier to use.”
“The other thing I find very valuable with SpringboardVR is the time management. When you’re running 20 stations, there’s no way to manage time and the program does it for us which is very handy.”
SpringboardVR was built on the foundation of customer feedback. We have an extensive product road map ahead of us. We are excited to continue to build the platform based on the feedback of the over 140 arcades currently using our software in their VR Arcade.
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