Original article taken from: https://www.bizjournals.com/losangeles/news/2019/04/04/mycinema-brings-esports-to-theaters.html
There’s no shortage of video games at the CinemaCon trade show, but myCinema’s RacerXClub stands apart with a high-tech race-car simulator with a seat that will definitely rumble and jerk to let drivers know that they’ve veered off course — or rolled their vehicle (as I did).
The vision for RacerXClub, developed in partnership with VRX Simulators, goes further with the idea to create a network of movie theater-sponsored teams that compete against each other in regional and national league competitions. The concept offers unique opportunities for sponsors and advertisers to reach players through myCinema’s loyalty and rewards program.
Launched last year at CinemaCon, myCinema is a division of Nagra Kudelski Group, a Swiss digital media technology company. The new division aims to offer Content as a Service via an online marketplace offering live music, Broadway, esports events, opera, ballet, sports, and classic, independent and foreign films.
Glenn Morten, vice president of strategy and solutions, expanded on myCinema’s plans for RacerXClub from CinemaCon via email, including how esports fit into the company’s programming business, how cinemas can customize the game, and how it differs from other arcade games found in theater lobbies.
How does RacerXClub fit in with what else myCinema is doing in theaters — specifically distributing indie and event content?
RacerX is event content and is one of the strategies we are pursuing, including concerts, sporting events and esports. When we launched, everyone was screaming for esports. RacerX is that. The difference is, cinemas and the player are in tandem originators in producing the content. This makes the viewing of esports much more engaging.
Has the company plied in lobby attractions before? If so, what did those consist of? If not, why dip into it now?
We have not, so no. The time is right to make the cinema into more of a community entertainment center and more engaging. We are bringing millennials back into cinemas, thus making them into community entertainment hubs. We are empowering local cinema owners to be the local host of the fandoms within each community.
What is the appeal for myCinema of this particular game — a NASCAR-themed racer?
It’s not limited to NASCAR — it can be Indy, truck racing, Formula One; it could be boats, planes or motorcycles. We found this appealing because we think motion makes the virtual aspect of the experience exciting and most realistic. We look at racing and motor sports as family-friendly and we think this is great in bringing families into local independent cinema.
How can theaters customize the game?
Theaters can customize in a few ways. Cinemas can make the experience into a local competition and create a branded league within a circuit; the other way is with branding and advertising. Theaters can become activation sites for events for local businesses. Imagine your local car dealerships using your cinema for branded events.
How much does RacerX cost to install? What is the suggested charge for consumers to ride it?
At CinemaCon we are doing the market research and business development to answer this question. It is easily accessible to exhibitors.
How does RacerX differ from racing arcade games currently found in theater lobbies? Why are theaters a good fit for this game?
Motion [and] VR capabilities make it stand out. Also, it is not just a single-player experience. It’s an esports platform for league play. Cinemas are ideal locations for esports because they have everything you need: Food and beverage, the space and facilities, seats, security and all the things that create a true and full esports experience; and parking.
What other opportunities does myCinema see for game experiences for theaters?
Racing is just one of the many esports applications that we are bringing to theaters on our roadmap. Racing is very popular, and we know people are going to love myCinema RacerX. We are building a trusted esports platform. The applications will change overtime as the popularity of particular experiences grow.
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