NEW YORK -- IMAX Corporation announces its strategy to develop a premium location-based virtual reality offering that will deliver immersive, multi-dimensional experiences, including entertainment content and games, to multiplexes, malls and other commercial destinations. Following yesterday's IMAX Google VR camera announcement, IMAX has expanded its initiative to include a joint venture agreement with Starbreeze AB, a Swedish-based independent creator, publisher and distributor of high-quality VR entertainment content and hardware.
Under the agreement, IMAX will create a premium VR experience that will leverage Starbreeze's unique StarVR® headset technology, which provides a 210-degree full peripheral field of view – double that of any other VR headset currently available – to offer a truly immersive VR experience that is worthy of the IMAX® brand. As part of the partnership, Starbreeze's existing library of VR entertainment content and games will be made available to consumers as well as the premium content resulting from the IMAX Google VR camera. IMAX will also look to establish new VR content partnerships through its existing Hollywood filmmaker and studio relationships. Meanwhile, Starbreeze will bring new interactive content through its publishing and partnerships in the gaming industry, which includes its relationship with leading Hollywood studio Lionsgate, with whom Starbreeze is developing its John Wick VR game as well as others.
IMAX sees a unique opportunity to combine premium equipment, more robust computing power, and expansive spaces to create a highly differentiated, destination-based VR experience that will draw audiences out of their homes, similar to the strategy IMAX has successfully employed in the cinema space.
The new VR experience will be made available within select multiplexes as well as commercial locations such as shopping centers and tourist destinations. The parties will launch up to six sites this year in both domestic and international markets. A test site for the first IMAX VR location has been selected. If successful, the intent is to roll out the concept globally.
The joint venture will carry the IMAX brand, with IMAX providing product design, management and installation services as well as sales, marketing and communications support and Starbreeze delivering the software platform, hardware, technical and product support. IMAX also plans to tap into its vast network of filmmakers and exhibitor relationships while Starbreeze will also leverage its relationships in developing and publishing interactive entertainment experiences.