Los Angeles-based virtual reality (VR) startup Spaces announced Thursday morning that it’s launching a location-based VR experience inspired by the 2015 film “Terminator Genisys” in partnership with Skydance Media, which owns the rights to the “Terminator” franchise.
Similar to recent location-based VR experiences such as The Void’s “Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire” and Dreamscape Immersive’s “Alien Zoo,” “Terminator” is a modular pop-up that can be set up in existing retail locations.
But unlike its predecessors, “Terminator” personalizes the experience by scanning the faces of guests, who play in teams of four, and applying them to their game avatars. Once they have their avatar personalized, guests play as cyborgs sent to post-apocalyptic Downtown Los Angeles to disable a Skynet Communication hub defended by a battalion of by T-600 Terminators.
After completing the mission, which features wind, motion effects and scents, guests will be given the option of downloading individual POV videos and automatically-generated third-person action highlight clips that can be shared to social media.
“You think of all the theme park attractions you’ve gone to, there’s a photo afterwards. We’ve taken that further,” said Shiraz Akmal, CEO of Spaces VR. “We have all kinds of patents [covering] real-time streaming of everything happening from every headset, with all the audio and video captured, so you walk away with this memory of your experience.”
Founded in 2016, Spaces has raised more than $10 million dollars from a group of investors led by Comcast Ventures and Songcheng Performance Co., the second largest theme park operator in China.
Prior to launching Spaces, Shiraz and CTO Brad Herman worked together at DreamWorks Animation’s DreamLab, where they developed a “How to Train Your Dragon ” immersive experience utilizing handmade Oculus Rifts that they took everywhere from Comic-Con to Times Square in 2014.
“We had premium IP, premium content, and we brought it to people and they a great time,” said Herman. “That really sold us on the idea that this was the direction to go in.”
“Terminator” is slated to open soon in U.S. cities, including Los Angeles and San Jose, Ca., as well as internationally in Japan and China. It will be the first U.S.-based attraction for Spaces, which has a $30 million partnership with Songcheng to add VR and mixed reality elements to existing attractions and create new standalone VR experiences for its theme parks, as well as develop VR and mixed reality for its live streaming video site 6Rooms.