Sony Pictures Virtual Reality has struck a partnership with Los Angeles-based virtual reality (VR) startup Survios to bring the recently-released “Jumanji: The VR Adventure” to VR arcades around the world. The studio’s virtual reality unit is also releasing the game on consumer VR headsets this month.
Sony began distributing “Jumanji: The VR Adventure” in 50 VR arcades and kiosks operated by VRX last month, timed with the premiere of “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.” With this new partnership, Sony has the potential to reach hundreds of additional locations in 36 countries.
“Sony Pictures Virtual Reality is leading the way to build a new, multi-tiered distribution model for virtual reality,” said Sony Pictures VR SVP Jake Zim in a statement. “For the first time, with ‘Jumanji: The VR Adventure,’ we are enabling audiences around the world to experience VR in locations and in-home on a variety of channels.”
Survios is best known for its VR shooter “Raw Data,” but the company has also been a pioneer of location-based VR, albeit with a bit of a different approach than some of its competitors. Instead of opening and operating just a few signature locations, Survios has been partnering with hundreds of VR arcades, which are often operated in true mom-and-pop shop fashion.
Survios CFO Ben Kim recently revealed that 85 percent of its players have experienced “Raw Data” in such a VR arcade. The company is currently getting ready to also distribute its second game, “Sprint Vector,” through this network, and recently announced a VR music app called “Electronauts”. In addition, Survios is looking to develop VR pods for arcade operators, which it plans to test in its own VR arcade in Southern California.
“We found a great partner in Sony which shares our vision of expanding VR’s global reach through great content and experiences,” said Survios Chief Business Officer Seth Gerson. “’Jumanji’ is a beloved film that’s perfectly set in virtual reality, and we’re excited to bring the experience into our distribution network, that gives the franchise access to the largest location-based VR audience.”
Sony developed “Jumanji: The VR Adventure” in partnership with MWM Immersive, which was until recently known as Reality One. The VR game allows players to direct the Jumanji heroes from a third-person perspective, and help them with boulders, tree trunks and good old hand-to-hand combat in their fight against the bad guys.
In addition to the VR arcade release via Survios, the game is also being released for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive this month, and coming to Sony’s PlayStation VR next month.