Netherlands-Based VR Arena Aims To Bring Full-Body Esports To Mainstream Audiences
Active Esports Arena Eindhoven promises a competitive VR experience that’s as much fun to watch as it is to play.
This week marked the launch of Active Esports Arena Eindhoven, a full-body VR esports facility that blends immersive gaming with physical sports.
Developed by Pillow’s Willow VR Studios in partnership with PSV and Sportscloud, Active Esports Eindhoven immerses players in the world of Exodus Burn, a combination VR escape room and digital obstacle course in which your body becomes the controller as you race against the clock to perform a variety of unique 1-minute challenges. The game can be played both competitively as well as cooperatively by up to four players, harnessing elements from both conventional sports as well as strategic video games to offer an original take on VR esports.
“Active gaming with your body as the controller, where you sometimes work together and then to end up competing against each other to keep the highest score,” says Exodus Burned creator Peter Kortenhoeven in an official release. “That’s how you best describe Exodus Burned, the official first active esport. At the moment, we are talking with several European top football clubs to open similar arenas. In addition, there is a desire to organize an Exodus Burned League and tournaments among these clubs.”
“This new generation is difficult to reach via traditional channels,” adds Frans Janssen, Commercial Director of PSV. “They are interested in games and esports, and that’s where we find them. Gaming does not necessarily mean you have to “sit in front of a screen”, as shown by Exodus Burned. As a player, you don’t even notice the full-body workout, because you are completely absorbed in the virtual world. ”
Active Esports Arena Eindhoven sets itself apart from existing VR esports facilities due to its heavy focus on spectator interaction, live match broadcasting, and the games’ real-world presentation. The idea is to make players look as bad-ass in real-life as they do in VR. Supposedly the entire system can be set up in just 15 minutes, plus another minute and a half to get each player properly calibrated; a considerably faster setup time when compared to other location-based VR activations. Based on the footage provided, it appears as though the facility is using Oculus Quest headsets, though there is additional video of the game running on the HTC Vive Focus.
“The great thing is that you can really become a better player by playing it repeatedly,” states Bob van Oosterhout, founder of Triple Double Sportsmarketing. “Moreover, the players and the game are beautifully portrayed and it is also exciting to watch as a spectator. Exodus Burned really has everything it takes to become a popular esport with a large crowd, and that in turn offers prospects for sponsors who want to get in touch with the target audience. In short, I am convinced that physical esports will take gaming to the next level.”
For now, those interested in competing at Active Esports Arena will need to make the trip to Eindhoven in the Netherlands. There you can play the facilities first game, Exodus Burn, both recreationally and competitively with a team; groups can even schedule their own tournaments and events.
“Exodus Burned and this Active Esports Arena are good examples of the innovative entertainment that we want to stimulate with the LDF Noord-Brabant,” says Bart de Boer, chairman of the Leisure Development Fund Noord-Brabant, a supporter of the project. “It is a unique VR experience, the most active VR experience in the world, which has never been seen before! On behalf of the LDF Noord-Brabant, I congratulate the initiators on the opening of the world’s first Active Esports Arena and I wish them the best of luck!”
For more information on booking visit activeesportsarena.com/
Image Credit: Active Esports Arena, Pillow’s Willow VR Studios, PSV, Sportscloud