Millennials, who grew up during the internet revolution, observed how swiftly communities transformed as a result of technology, giving them a unique perspective from previous generations
Daily advancements in technology leading to changing demographic and psychographic tastes and habits are impacting all industries at large. The way we shop, socialize, and entertain ourselves has all changed in the digital age, sometimes even restricting our ability to build genuine, in-person connections. The duties that used to get us out and about in our communities are now handled through screens, putting us in a digital bubble. The need for social and emotional experiences, on the other hand, hasn’t gone away, and this transition is generating an increased desire for real-life encounters and face-to-face engagement. For instance, we are already seeing revenge shopping as a phenomenon in many cities and countries.
Millennials, who grew up during the internet revolution, observed how swiftly communities transformed as a result of technology, giving them a unique perspective from previous generations. However, the significance of friendships and teachers remained. They learnt just as much from Play Station and AOL Instant Messaging as the older generations. The only difference was the evolved technology. This generation now has the power to recreate nostalgic experiences with the combined power of the internet and technology that is propelling the future economy. Millennials are driving a new generation of location-based entertainment (or LBE) options to repurpose empty commercial real estate spaces while using it to create unique experiences.
The Experiential Shift:
The goal of location-based entertainment (LBE) is to bring people together to enjoy experiences in real life. Baby boomers and Gen X developed arcades, water parks, and family entertainment centres, which provided millennials with good childhood memories and a specific affection for LBEs. This concentration, however, was discreetly overshadowed by the introduction of the internet during their youth, and the drive to achieve smooth, online experiences forced LBE innovation to stagnate. As the novelty of online encounters wears off, millennials want to revisit their childhood memories in a grown-up, more immersive, and tech-enhanced versions. Traditional brick-and-mortar retailers are increasingly moving towards online distribution, freeing up more and more space. Simultaneously, technology becomes more accessible, offering ideal conditions for LBE market innovations hinting towards the great experiential shift for millennials. Location-based gaming arenas are likely to see a boost as there is this pent-up demand across cross-sections of society for newer entertainment options.
The Market Dynamics – Growth Opportunity:
LBE is proving to become one of the most lucrative markets that could potentially solve the unsold inventory problem of commercial real estate. The primary component of a location-based entertainment experience is the building of a physical venue that is outfitted with all of the necessary technology, tools, and other elements to create an immersive environment. Moreover, the market size for the LBE is consistently evolving with new technology and newer investments. For instance, according to Market
Insight Report, in 2020, the global location-based entertainment market was estimated to be worth $3.05 billion. However, it is estimated that by 2027, the global market for location-based entertainment will reach $24.2 billion with a 34.4% growth over the forecast period 2021-2027. Immersive experiences have been evolving for a few decades now, but it has just recently gained steam, thanks to advancements in hardware devices, technological and platform development. These technological advancements have enabled the user to experience this content in the highest quality possible with AR & VR.
Adaptation of AR-VR to enhance the immersive experiences:
Virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality, real-time rendering, and walkthroughs are all examples of these immersive experiences. There are several distinct visualization methods that all serve the same function. VR and AR are exciting because they mimic people’s movements in the actual world, allowing users to instinctively explore virtual space without complicating or confusing the process. AR creates fabricated computer-generated items in the real world while VR develops a full-fledged virtual environment for the user.
Virtual Reality is the next big thing considered to be at the forefront of gaming and viewing technology. VR gaming is known for its immersive experiences that can transport the enthusiast into this dream world of gaming in no time. On the other hand, Mixed Reality (MR) is a combination of the two. Leveraging both gives a unique virtual experience that goes beyond. As complicated as virtual reality and augmented reality may appear, the use of computer technologies to create simulated worlds has aided in the speed and ease of visualization. The adaptation of AR & VR in location-based entertainment has helped in creating unique experiences & emotional encounters that go beyond traditional means of recreating a memory.
Additionally, there are technologies now which allow you to roam freely and experience titles with friends and family and is therefore multiplayer. You can see the obstructions, friends and fellow participants, clearly in the calibrated game space while you explore the depth of the new world. Zero Latency is one of the leading game publishers in this space.
Future of Immersive Entertainment:
As the market for computer-generated and experience grows, the demand for more realistic experiences will take centre stage. The gaming sector is already booming with hyper-realistic games such as Far Cry VR from Ubisoft, that have taken audiences to a whole new level of immersive experiences. Similarly, the video industry is also working towards creating more realistic imagery for movies with virtual production that mimics real locations in the studio.
Earlier versions of VR gaming were tethered with wires and PCs but now it has gone wireless with backpacks. In the future, we are likely to experience faster, lighter and more affordable VR technology where the computing power will reside in the headset. Overall, virtual experiences are yet an unexploited territory that has endless possibilities and has potential for various applications that could reshape business dynamics across sectors and contribute towards larger growth of the entertainment industry and economies as a whole.
The author of the article is Samrat Das Gupta, Head – Marketing, Microgravity.