Dave & Buster’s Takes Location-Based Virtual Reality Nationwide

Alexis Macklin, Research Manager Insight Articles, Location-Based Entertainment

Dave & Buster's Takes Location-Based VR Nationwide
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  • Dave & Buster's announced a partnership with VRStudios and HTC for dedicated multi-player virtual reality experiences at all North American video arcade/restaurant complexes.
  • Dave & Buster's will deploy 500 HTC Vive systems at its 110 locations.
  • The exclusive ride features Jurassic World VR Expedition, created by The VR Company under license from Universal.
  • Up to four players will be able to use the VR ride at Dave & Buster's at any one time, with a run-time of around five minutes.

The new virtual reality attraction—which will go live at all of Dave & Buster's locations on June 14—is considered a breakthrough for the LBE sector, VRStudios CEO Kevin Vitale said. The ride will incorporate HTC Vive headsets and motion simulators and is expected to provide guests with exclusive content.

Our Analysis

Dave & Buster’s Entertainment, Inc. is a leading operator of high-volume entertainment and dining venues. The core of the Dave & Buster's concept is to offer its patrons the opportunity to “Eat Drink Play and Watch” all in one location, providing an atmosphere with interactive entertainment options for adults and families.

This announcement highlights that motion simulator rides and computer-generated entertainment, such as those offered through virtual reality systems, represent the next frontier in the evolution of location-based entertainment. Since its formation in 1982, Dave & Buster’s has garnered a well-earned reputation for offering its guests a technologically-sophisticated away-from-home entertainment. Although operators of location-based entertainment facilities must continuously upgrade their venues to stay competitive, the announcement is significant for three reasons. First, Dave & Busters intends to grow its comparable store sales by seeking to differentiate the Dave & Buster’s brand from other food and entertainment alternatives through exciting new offerings such as multi-player virtual reality. Second, the rollout of VR systems in its stores may prove successful in appealing to younger demographics, who have been opted for home entertainment as an alternative but are known to be especially drawn to VR. Finally, spending on virtual reality may increase average spending per patron. In the location-based entertainment industry, operating leverage is a constant feature. The costs of labor, facilities, and management are relatively fixed, and so, every additional ticket sold produces a high marginal profit. Ultimately, games & interactive entertainment are central to the Dave & Buster’s entertainment experience and a core differentiating feature of the brand.

For forecasts, data, and key insights about the adoption and use of virtual reality at arcades, mixed reality facilities, family entertainment centers, cinemas, theme parks, shopping mall kiosks, and other location-based entertainment venues, contact sales to receive our Location-Based Virtual Reality Intelligence Service.