You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Void Teams Up With Sony Pictures for New Location-Based VR Experience

James Murdoch-backed virtual reality (VR) startup The Void has teamed up with Sony Pictures Virtual reality to produce a new location-based VR experience, according to Curtis Hickman, the startup’s chief creative officer.

Hickman revealed the partnership in a conversation with Variety this week, during which he also outlined plans to bring more original IP to The Void locations. A Sony Pictures spokesperson subsequently confirmed the partnership, but declined to comment on the Sony franchise it will be based on.

Hickman told Variety that his company had been very selective about the types of experiences that it was bringing to its VR centers. “There’s been big titles that we turned down,” he said.

The company launched its first centers with “Ghostbusters Dimension,” a title produced in partnership with Sony Pictures. It has since launched “Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire” and “Ralph Breaks the Internet” in partnership with Disney, and is getting ready to launch another experience based on the Marvel cinematic universe.

At the same time, The Void has also been developing some of its own intellectual property, including “Nicodemus,” a horror-themed experience. Hickman said that the advantage of original IP was greater flexibility, and also explained that it helped the company to advance its own technology. For instance, some of the tech developed for “Nicodemus” ultimately found its way into “Ralph Breaks the Internet.”  That’s why the company will continue to work on its own IP going forward, he said. “I think we will see more Void content in the future.”

Popular on Variety

The Void announced a massive expansion to 25 additional locations earlier this summer, and recently opened new locations in the World Trade Center in New York as well as the Westfield Centre in San Francisco. The latter (pictured above) is located on the 4th floor of the iconic San Francisco mall, with plans to move to a permanent location in the mall’s food court later this year.

Hickman said that the company’s new expansion was benefitting from the experience it was able to gather at its existing dozen locations across the U.S. as well as in Dubai. “We were learning a lot about the business,” he said. For instance, the company streamlined its on-boarding experience, and ditched self-serve kiosks in favor of a more personal concierge experience.

The Void is also looking to further improve its hardware, and make its VR backpacks lighter in order to accommodate younger visitors. Hickman said that the company had also been experimenting with using additional trackers for full-body tracking, but ultimately decided against it as the benefits didn’t outweigh the additional complexity. Said Hickman: “You don’t want the experience get in the way of the guest having fun.”

More Digital

  • PewDiePie aka Felix KjellbergFelix Kjellberg 'This

    PewDiePie Announces He's Taking a Break From YouTube in 2020

    The gamer behind YouTube’s most-watched channel, PewDiePie (real name Felix Kjellberg), announced in his latest Pew News video, posted Saturday, that he is planning to take a break from the platform next year. Towards the end of the video, which slams YouTube for its inability to effectively enforce its latest policy updates, Kjellberg says, “I [...]

  • Cenk Uygur

    Bernie Sanders Retracts Endorsement of Young Turks Founder Cenk Uygur After Backlash

    Bernie Sanders pulled his support for Cenk Uygur’s congressional bid, with the Vermont independent in part acknowledging that Sanders’ supporters were “frustrated” about the endorsement. Sanders, who’s running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, cited Uygur’s announcement Friday that he would not be accepting any endorsements. In a statement, Sanders alluded to sexist and other [...]

  • Tana MongeauStreamy Awards, Arrivals, The Beverly

    Streamy Awards 2019: The Complete Winners List

    The 9th Annual Streamy Awards — honoring the best from YouTube and online video — were held Friday night in Beverly Hills. Tana Mongeau (pictured above) was named Creator of the Year and Rhett & Link’s “Good Mythical Morning” won Show of the Year in the two fan-voted Audience Choice categories. David Dobrik picked up [...]

  • NBC News - Quibi

    NBC News Digital Workers Form New Union

    A group of approximately 150 editorial workers who help produce some of NBC News digital content have formed a union, citing a desire to push their employer to work more seriously through such issues as equal pay and the recent handling of sensitive stories. Editorial employees of NBC News Digital won certification of their union [...]

  • Fox Nation Tests Holiday Programming

    Fox Nation Tests Holiday Programming

    The Fox Nation streaming-video service has long been touted as a new option for super-fans of the Fox News Channel. But some of the broadband hub’s new programming choices suggest adherents of “Fox & Friends” and Sean Hannity aren’t looking solely for chatter about politics and interviews with members of the Trump administration. Subscribers to [...]

  • Facebook

    FTC May Stop Facebook From Integrating Whatsapp, Instagram

    The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is weighing whether it should seek an injunction against Facebook to prevent the social media giant from integrating services like Whatsapp, Messenger and Instagram with its core app, according to reports from the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. Regulators fear that Facebook’s app integration plans could make [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content