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Location-Based VR Startup Nomadic to Open First Location in Florida

Bay Area-based virtual reality (VR) startup Nomadic is getting ready to open up its first VR center in Orlando, Florida this fall. Nomadic is opening its first space at the Pointe Orlando mall with an adaptation of “Arizona Sunshine,” a zombie VR shooter that’s already popular on in-home VR systems as well as in VR arcades.

Nomadic worked with Vertigo Games, the studio behind “Arizona Sunshine,” on adapting the title for location-based VR. Visitors of the Orlando location will be able to freely roam a warehouse-scale stage in groups of up to 4 players, and interact with physical props, including walls, doors, guns, elevators and trains. “When you can reach out and touch things, that really is the magical moment,” said Nomadic co-founder and CEO Doug Griffin.

The startup has been working on location-based VR since 2015, and officially came out of stealth mode in early 2017. Griffin said that Nomadic spent this year getting ready for its launch and running pop-up experiences. The company plans to open up additional locations in Las Vegas, Los Angeles and other cities in 2019. Nomadic decided to go to Florida for its first location because it was known for entertainment attractions, said Griffin. “Orlando is the hub for location-based entertainment.”

Key to Nomadic’s approach is a modular stage that can easily be reconfigured to run additional experiences. Griffin said that the company was looking to launch a second level of “Arizona Sunshine” later this year, and bring additional titles to the space in the coming months as well.

At launch, the company will charge consumers $30 per person, with a special matinée pricing of $25 for off-hours. “We really focused our experiences on being replayable,” said Griffin, adding that this applied to pricing as well.

Nomadic is launching two versions of the experience, rated 13+ and 17+ respectively. The mature version featured more blood and gore that may not be as appropriate for younger audiences, said Griffin. “When you are chased by zombies, it can feel quite intense.”

Nomadic has raised $6 million from investors including Horizons Ventures, Maveron, Presence Capital, Vulcan Capital, and Verus International.

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