Location-Based VR Remains a Highlight in the Industry, but IMAX Shows It Is Still Early Days

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By Michael Inouye | 1Q 2019 | IN-5363


IMAX Shuts Down Its VR Arcades


IMAX was viewed as an early trailblazer within the VR marketplace—a veteran within the video industry, building a bridge between pre-existing and new technologies. IMAX has always been about immersive experiences, so Virtual Reality (VR) seemed like a natural evolution for the company, but after all the fanfare, the company decided to pull the plug on the remaining three locations (Bangkok, Los Angeles, and Toronto) early this year (1Q 2019). The year 2018 was certainly a challenging one for VR, between a rather dramatic shift in industry sentiment felt at big shows like the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), and a mobile segment that saw remarkably little support. Yet, location-based VR was cited by many operating in and near the VR space as a shining beacon of optimism (tethered VR also had a decent 2018). Yes, China remains a challenging market (after too much growth), but arcades in many regions continue to expand and grow, so why did IMAX pull the plug?

Longevity and Content Still Lack…

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