Location-based virtual reality (VR) startup The Void has teamed up with mall operator Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW) to open 25 new outposts in the U.S. and Europe by 2022, both companies announced Thursday morning.
This includes new locations in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego that will open this summer; Variety was first to report about The Void’s plans to open a San Francisco VR center in April. Other locations to open over the next 2.5 years include Paris, London, Amsterdam, Chicago, Copenhagen, Oberhausen, San Jose, Stockholm and Vienna.
For mall operators like URW, location-based VR operators like The Void represent an opportunity to get consumers into their shopping centers that would have otherwise stayed at home, and ordered things online.
URW Group CEO Christophe Cuvillier said as much in a press release Thursday: “Over the past years, our industry has evolved dramatically. In a connected world, shopping is not enough anymore. Today, our customers expect to be entertained and brought together to share memorable, engaging sensory experiences.”
The Void currently operates 14 locations in cities including Las Vegas, Orlando, Santa Monica, Toronto and Dubai. The company recently raised $20 million from James Murdoch’s Lupa Systems for further expansion.
“Partnering with URW and utilizing their footprint of premier destinations will allow us to deliver unprecedented social, out-of-home, and immersive entertainment experiences on a global scale,” said company’s co-founder and chief creative officer Curtis Hickman.