ARVI VR Newsletter 1

Happy to announce that we are launching our regular ✍️ newsletters aimed to share with you guys what we know about great VR experiences, great games, great locations, know-how, tips and tricks, and many many more fun VR stuff. 

🙌 We are ARVI VR 

We started our VR journey 6 years ago as a small team of VR and IT enthusiasts and gradually grew into a mid-size company with: 

  • 70+ staff members
  • 750+ locations across Europe, North America, Asia, and Pacific
  • a best-in-class VR platform 
  • and a portfolio of high-end VR games designed for commercial VR clubs like the one of yours

As we speak with our existing and potential clients, we often hear one big issue that everybody faces: how to ensure regular inflow of players. If this is a challenge for you, than our newsletters will help you find the right answers and convince you to talk to us in search of in-depth expertise and right solutions.

In this article you will find:

  • Player experience
  • Max out performance
  • Ideal VR game session
  • Retention and win back

🎮 Player experience

Inflow of players, not surprisingly and foremostly, is built around the following:

  1. The knowledge about your venue: how well you advertise and reach right audiences; 
  2. The type of experiences you provide: entry level, advanced or mixed;
  3. The games genres you offer: shooters, escapes, learning, arcades; 
  4. Booking convenience: how simple and fast it is to book the right time slot.

You may argue, but the shocking fact is that in some locations only 10% of players actually come back to play again. Let’s look at what becomes important for players to come back the second time. We call this first experience and it may have many shades, flavors, tones, and subtones. 

  1. Was I well treated? Were the staff friendly and helpful?
  2. Was the place convenient?
  3. Was I onboarded well?
  4. Did I like the game overall?
  5. Did I enjoy the time spent?
  6. Did the equipment work fine?
  7. Did I win? 
  8. Do I want to come back for more?
  9. Can I recommend this venue to my friends and family?

The sooner you guys start asking the above questions, the better you will understand your players, the quicker you will react to the expectations, the faster you will start making more money on your return customers. We will spend more time talking about player experience in our next newsletters. Now we would like to continue with our core competence - game performance.

💯 Max out performance

By performance, we generally mean how well your game performs and whether it creates the right VR excitement without any technical issues breaking the fun, joy, and thrill. To our knowledge, there could be 1-2 booking slots lost per day (3-4 per week and consequently 10-15 per month). Equipment failed, connection lost, unplugged wires, batteries down, and many more unpleasantries happening again and again. 

The first key to success is how quickly you can launch/terminate game sessions, how well your equipment, software, hardware is maintained. We know cases when even old equipment worked reliably because it was well maintained. The general rule of thumb - the max time for commercial equipment is 5-6 years. Despite its visible viability, its stability, performance, and experience are already very behind the commercial market standards and contradict the perception of VR as an innovative tech and ground-breaking experience. 

Another important tool you need to have is your VR platform. If you don't have a platform, something like a 'Springboard', you should get one. The platform should always track sessions in real-time and in case of emergency and even minor issues notify and let you act accordingly. There are of course differences between the VR platforms, pros and cons, but we will explain them later. Again, it goes without saying that having no tools at hand, you and your game masters will always struggle with running around and sweating, eyeballing your players (forget it!💭🙅‍♂️) and as a result - lose precious time, money, and customers.

🕹️👌 Ideal VR game session

Different game genres have average session durations:

  • Shooter - 15-90 mins
  • Escape - 45-55 mins
  • Arcade - 35-40 mins
  • Simulator - 15-20 mins

We have observed that an ideal fit between convenience for customers and commercial efficiency is keeping your game sessions around 1 hour. Very short game sessions (simulators, arcades and in some cases shooters) require your staff to sweat, while you as an owner get too much idle time, which all translates into lost revenue. Long sessions (shooters mostly) beyond 1 hour could be acceptable only on low-traffic days or for large teams and similarly harder to manage without losses, idle time, and unhappy customers. 

So what is your idle time per day? 🤔⏰ If you ever decide to count and measure, our recommendation would be to consider adding Escape or Quest games to your portfolio, which could organically fix many of your issues. Some Escape games do seem a little hard for starters, but on the other hand, they give excitement, teamplay, and open doors for the next and next visits. We try to recommend our customers a little trick to help newbies solve some puzzles to have their first moment a WIN. Game masters using our platform know how to do the magic with the Admin panel helping players enjoy the moment of glory and control your game session in under 1 hour. But regardless of the genre or the platform, your pit-stop between sessions should be 5-7 minutes max.

🏆 Retention and win back

Retention and win-back tools relate to customers who already played VR once at your location. We have analyzed the VR Venues market and concluded that the retention rate mainly depends on 2 things:

  1. Quality of the first VR experience; 
  2. The reason and motivation to come back:
  • Good first experience.
  • Caring and engaged staff inviting to come back and bring more friends along.
  • Caring and engaged staff inviting to like and subscribe, to leave positive comments on social networks.
  • VR games library with new exciting experiences that players cannot find at home or at your competition. 

Theoretically, 50% of people in urban areas 15-59 years of age can be your potential customers able to visit your location at least once. Sadly, we often see almost no competition between VR clubs as there are very few or no VR clubs in some locations. We understand that it takes 20, 50 or even 200 thousand USD to open a VR venue and there is little money left for marketing and ads. If this is so, then naturally we have to focus our efforts on maximizing returns from each visiting customer and convince them to come back for more experiences, for more games. Right?! 🎯

Some VR experts say that 3-4 games should be enough to satisfy all the needs and make good money. Wrong!!! 🙅‍♂️ 

Please take a close look at our customers. They are used to making thousands of purchasing decisions a day, selecting the best from hundreds of options. There are perhaps millions of video games in the existence. They come and go, but players always want something new, something cool, something unique. Knowing that why would someone think that 3-4 games in the portfolio would make all the customers happy? This could be one of the main reasons why customers do not see the perspective. Look at the Oculus marketplace. There are dozens of new VR games added daily and weekly. Why? 🤔 

Because variety creates freedom of choice. Our recommendation - is always to search for and test new cool games. New games in your library will attract players to enjoy new experiences. And believe it is times cheaper to retain an existing customer than to attract a new one.

Purely mathematically, having ARVI VR games library, that is 15 games in it, you can count on potential 10-15 visits by each customer who tried our games at least once. Let's imagine that you are living in a city with 200 000 people living in it, and half of them are your potential customers. That means, that 100 000 people could reach your VR Venue and play VR games around 10-15 times - that should be enough to run your business successfully during a long period of time, like 5-10 years ahead.  

Having the right marketing campaigns, the library of games, and customer service, you'll have the option to achieve the highest capacity at your location.

👀 Stay tuned for more

It's worth noting that this isn't the last ✍️ newsletter from ARVI VR. If you find these insights and tips useful, be sure to keep an eye out for the next one coming soon. ARVI VR is committed to providing ongoing support and resources for businesses looking to incorporate VR into their operations.

Authored by Michael Khimionov