The UK-based Immotion Group, leaders in immersive virtual reality attractions for the out of home entertainment business has significantly expanded its relationship with Merlin Entertainments, the world’s second largest leisure operator with attendance of more than 66,000,000. This contract is the result of a very successful revenue-share trial of Immotion’s VR Cinematic Platforms in two Lego Discovery Centers (Boston MA and Manchester UK).
Immotion Group and Merlin have agreed to continue the rollout of the Immotion VR Cinematic Platforms across the majority of the Lego Discovery Centers, including a Legoland hotel in Germany and three Sea Life Centers (one in Germany and two in Australia).
As reported by InterGame: “The Sea Life Centers will operate Immotion Group’s ‘subsea edutainment’ experiences. Subject to the trial results, the intention is to roll the “Blue Ocean” VR cinematic experiences out across the wider Sea Life estate, which currently numbers 49 Sea Life Centers. Talks continue with Merlin regarding other opportunities.”
“In addition to the existing two Lego Discovery Centers sites, each containing eight headsets each, Immotion Group will install, subject to final contract, a total of 42 new headsets across the Lego Discovery Centers estate, six in Legoland Germany and 18 headsets in the three Sea Life trials, taking the total headsets in operation on a revenue share basis with Merlin to 82 by end of Q1 2019. At the same time, Lego Discovery Centers in Asia have purchased a further six machines from Immotion Group, making a total of 47 machines and 94 headsets in the Merlin estate.
With the exception of the Lego Discovery Centers in Asia, which purchased the VR Cinematic Platforms from Immotion Group, the company operates on a Concession basis with Merlin, sharing the revenue generated from the operations. Immotion Group provides the equipment, content, technical support and training, Merlin operates the platforms and provides the locations.”
Martin Higginson, CEO of Immotion Group, stated: “Our mantra has always been; ‘Test, Roll-Out’ and the extension of the Merlin relationship to cover the majority of Lego Discovery Centers, along with trials in three Sea Life Centers, is a significant milestone for the company. Endorsement from Merlin, one of the largest entertainment operators in the world, underpins our belief and confidence in our business model.”
“The commercial success of our recent trials, which are being converted into long-term agreements, has shown our ability to deliver revenue for our partners. This, together with the positive feedback from the paying public and the discussions we are having with shopping malls and leisure operators around the world, demonstrates that there is a growing demand for our superior out of home immersive experiences.”
“We are also pleased to have agreed terms with Crown Leisure, the UK’s largest distributor of entertainment machines, relating to machine sales of the Immotion Group’s motion platforms. We believe our offering will be attractive to leisure arcades and family entertainment centers in Crown’s key markets. We will now look for similar arrangements in the US.”
“We believe we are well placed to take advantage of the opportunities ahead of us, and remain extremely confident that Immotion Group is set to become the leading out of home immersive VR operator in the world. We look forward to providing further updates on our progress as they develop.”
Overall 2018 trading for Immotion is in line with market expectations and H2 2018 VR revenue was in excess of £1m with more than double the anticipated Immotion VR headsets in place by year-end 2018. The company developed 12 VR content experiences in the year.
Merlin Entertainments is the largest European entertainments company operating in Europe (headquartered in Poole, Dorset). Merlin now operates over 127 attractions, 19 hotels and 7 holiday villages in 27 countries across 4 continents.
Immotion was formed from the merger of Studio Liddell – a Manchester-based CGI studio, and C2K – Los Angeles based filmmakers. Immotion combines over 40 years of experience in storytelling, content creation, advertising, art direction and communications.