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Rockjaw

New Viveport Arcade details - forum coming soon

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Hi , thanks for chiming in.

 

You're absolutely right about Dave & Buster's having other revenue streams, and that's almost certainly a big part, if not the majority of their revenue. I honestly picked them at random looking for a chain - I didn't even realize they were doing VR until I saw it on their site!

 

Pricing is always going to be hard to pin down globally, as it's a classic case of 'paying what the market will bear'. I've seen pricing on VR experiences go up to $10 for 15m, but you might be right, it may not encourage repeat business. Perhaps there could be a loyalty scheme or something similar for repeat customers to help them save money, and to keep money coming in.

 

That applies more to a fixed location of course, so in your case with a mobile / party-based company, that might not be practical. I'm going to double (triple) check on your pricing there, because for some reason I think there might be some variance (no-one's here for me to ask right now!). However, $40 an hour... doesn't seem that crazy to me. If I was a party organizer and was being told (for example) I'd need to pay, say, $200 flat fee for rental, $50 per hour for 4 units... for say two hours... $300 to entertain a lot of guests doesn't seem crazy to me. But then again, I haven't organized many parties. :)

 

Regarding Business Edition, I'm going to double check on that for you as well. 

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Hey ,

 

Regarding the Business Edition, I found this in the Arcade Operator FAQ (which is here). Emphasis mine:

 

For territories where the hardware is not yet distributed or
if operators choose not to use the commercial units
, the Viveport Arcade platform is compatible with the consumer units however operators should note the
warranty and service will not apply
.

Obviously, that's a risk - the lack of warranty - but there's the official line.

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Another example I saw today, just food for thought...

 

https://www.nhm.org/site/explore-exhibits/special-exhibits/vr

 

The Los Angeles Natural History Museum is doing a temporary VR exhibit using TheBlu, everyone's favorite VR-intro. They list it as a 6 minute experience, and are charging $8 for museum members, $10 for non-members (that's on top of the regular ticket price for entrance to the museum).

 

Under the same installation using Viveport Arcade, assuming that 6m runtime, you'd be spending 100 points/$1 every time you ran the VR experience for people. Obviously, other running costs would be added on to that, but does a potential $9 profit seem reasonable?

 

Of course, this is a specific example based on TheBlu, but I'd certainly have that in rotation if I was opening an arcade to the public. :)

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Hello   

 

I believe customers will stay a full hour in VR if the price is right, if content is interesting and if they are returning customers not just someone who want to try how this whole VR looks like. Yes, being in VR, may be intensive, but I saw many people who even don’t like normal computer games but easily spends much more than one hour in VR, when they find something they like… but once again, the price matter.

 

The best answer for your question is that not only "I believe", I also hope that they going to stay. If not, I’m worried, VRcade industry (at least HTC Vive version) will die before it really starts. I live in quite touristic area, tourists spend lots of money for pleasure, can buy ice cream for 5 EUR, can pay 10 EUR for 5 minutes VR Space Pirate Trainer experience and queue. I saw it last summer, people waiting in long line to spend their 10 eur, it was possible last summer but such things not going to happen in future. There is WOW factor when you are trying VR first time, but it is going to be more and more common. People try VR this way or another, not only HTC, Oculus or Sony but with their mobile phones. Quality? It doesn’t matter for them if they just want to “try” or even they going to believe, the quality is same… so they not going spend their money for 5-10 minutes experience, if they can have it “for free” with their own mobiles or they still can try short and high quality FREE experience in shops selling VR equipment. There are more and more places like that. I don’t believe there is a future for short and intensive experiences (or there is but, for extremely high quality experience in amusement parks, not HTC Vive like "semi pro") . Profits will come from players who want to spend some longer time repeatedly but because of some reasons can’t have their own VR system in home.

 

Also, I think belief that people stay longer in VR is essential to HTC Arcade subscription idea. If I have just not returning customers who want to spend their 5-10 minutes in VR with intensive experience, I don’t need lots of content. Even better to not have lots of content, so people don’t need to think too much, 3-4 different games/ experiences is enough, even better one on each machine and that’s all, can pay individual licenses, about 30-50 euro/month each and people are happy. There is no reason to pay $10/h just to give people a choice they don’t want. Simple is better. Only someone who is going to spend “hours” needs big content library, but not with such big price. It fits also to your example about theBlue, why pay $1 for each customer if you can buy commercial license for theBlue for I guess about $30-$40/month (or maybe even less).

 

Continuing about pricing… I noticed that HTC Vive individual subscription price is going to be $6.99 for a month. I guess the content in individual subscription and Vive Arcade subscription going to be very similar… am I right? $6.99/month VS $10.00/hour is huge different. Yes, I know one is individual licensing another is commercial, but who is paying all costs in the end? Sponsors? Arcade operators? Of course not, always, the end customers are paying everything so from the one hand HTC calculate that the person who own VR system in home, will pay $6.99/month to have unlimited access to content and in same time HTC expecting that someone who doesn’t own VR system will pay $10.00/hour for access to the same content (plus of course other costs, plus VAT I guess), impossible. Hmm… I can easy imagine that it would have much more sense if arcade operator does not provide content at all, just rent hardware and place, and user could use totally legally his own subscription than pay additional $10/hour for content he can have for just $6.99/month. Of course, I’m not expecting commercial subscription will cost same as the individual one, but $6.99/month vs over $1000.00/month… it is not going to work. I believe the fair price would be 10 times less, about $1/h, then it would be comparable with individual subscription plan and individual commercial licenses cost.

 

I still hope before the final announcement the prices will be recalculated to more realistic level, in the other case, as I wrote Steam prices seems to be much nicer even if they are still extremely high in some cases.

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Hey , you make some excellent points and I appreciate the continued discussion!

 

Wanted to cover a few things. You're absolutely right that VR over time will become less and less 'new', but I hope that we're going to see more and more innovation in software, so that Vive will continue to stand out and be different thanks to (we'd argue) the best room-scale setup around. Right now we're seeing a lot of similar titles in some specific fields (wave shooters anyone?) but over time, I think we'll see 'best in class' emerge and become definitive experiences. At that point, as it tends to do, the market will move forward and we'll see innovation building on previous innovations. (See, for example, the progression from Wolfenstein to Doom to Quake to Half-Life.)

 

You're also right that profits will come from players who want to spend a lot of time in VR, who make repeat visits and so on. That's why we're trying to push that 'repeat play loop' with developers who are interested in creating VR content that's arcade focused, and we're trying to get content into arcade that encourages people to come back again and again; whether it's to have the experience again (perhaps multiplayer?) or to continue in something they previously started (ie, a project in VR).

 

It's important to note, regarding subscriptions vs arcade, that while there may be crossover between the two we can't guarantee that every title available will be available in both places. Some titles may be available for purchase only, some may be subscription/purchase only, some may be arcade only, or any combination of the three. It's unlikely that a title available in the arcades won't be available for purchase, but in some cases, that could be true.

 

Setting aside for a moment the fact that our terms of service regarding subscriptions won't allow you to 'publicly exhibit' (in the same way a Netflix sub doesn't allow you to show content from there and charge admittance), there are limitations on subs that might not suit an arcade owner. In your example of the arcade owner just having the hardware, you'd fall right into the 'public exhibition' problem.

 

If you chose to buy subscriptions for an arcade rather than opt into the platform - which again is against the terms of service, but just as an example - then you'd still have issues. You'd only have access to five titles per month, per subscription. Granted you could buy a lot of subscriptions, but you would have to juggle a lot of accounts. In addition you'd be fixed on a per account basis. Say for example you had ten subs, and you had Stonehenge VR on all ten - what if an eleventh person walks in and wants to experience it? You can't do it.

 

With arcade, you have access to a lot of titles, and any of them can be used for as long as you want without restrictions, except time.

 

(I realize re-reading your comment you may not have been aware how subscription works. In a nutshell, that's it. Access to five titles per month; you choose which five, from a selection available to you. So it's clearly limited in choice vs arcade.)

 

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Hello , thank you very much for your answer :)

 

You’re right, I didn’t notice that individual subscription is only 5 titles per month. Good news for VRcades :). I have one more question about details, am I right that 10eur/hour is price without VAT, so actually it is going to be for example in Spain, 10eur + 21% VAT / hour so 12,10eur/hour?

 

I also wanted to make one thing clear. When I was writing about arcade operator who just rent hardware and place, not software I really mean that. What if customer come and just login to his own account on Steam and play the game he has on his own account? For sure it is not “public exhibit” (especially in VR, quite private experience), he just rent a place and play his own game. If compare with Netflix, is like situation when I’m in hotel room and there is TV with Netflix software, they can’t use “hotel subscription” but they can just put TV with Netflix, and if only I have my own account I can login and watch movies. With games, in some cases, it is quite natural, for example Elite Dangerous, it is great game without VR, but even greater in VR. I can easy imagine someone who spend hours in not VR version in home, would like to test how it is to fly his spaceship in VR and using own account is only way.

 

And continuing about private vs commercial subscription, even if private is only 5 titles a month, still if someone want to spend in VR for example 1 hour and he has a choice, pay for example 15eur/hour for renting hardware and place plus 12,10eur/ hour for software (together 27,10eur/hour) or he just can pay 15eur/hour plus 6,99eur …. Even if he spends just 1 hour, it still only 21,99eur, so over 5 eur less, but what if he wants to spend more than just 1 hour a month? What if he shares his account with any of his friends? Also, let’s forget about private subscription, with this price, if someone want to “master” any game and play it more than just once, more than 1-2 hour in lifetime, it would be better for this person to buy this game on Steam and come to VRcade with his own copy, than pay additional 12,10 eur/hour. The point is, that I didn’t mean to use private subscription by arcade owner (of course it would be illegal), I mean with this high commercial price even if each customer has his own private subscription and use it just for 1 hour play, still the price is better.

 

You know, I have a feeling that somewhere during all prices calculation someone forget about end customers who are going to pay all costs and how much maximum they can pay. When you check prices in different VRcades in European Union, it seems that the average price is 20-25eur/hour, let’s be optimistic and use 25eur/hour. This is VAT included (in EU average is 21%) so 20,66eur/hour left.

 

Now basic monthly cost calculation. VR needs space if we want high quality experience, minimum 9m2 for 1 station, lets imagine not very small not very big, 8 station VRcade. It needs 72m2 just for play area, but you need corridors, walls, you need waiting area, you need toilets and usually the dimensions do not fit perfectly your needs (especially when you need to take care of laser licking problem) so to have 8 stations, you need about 150m2 place. In big city in Spain, in not perfect, but fairly good location such place costs about 2500-3000 eur/month . You need stuff, 8 stations, I believe minimum 3 persons would be necessary to make things fluent. About 1500 each (included insurance, taxes and other things like that). Together it is 4500 eur/month. Now some additional expenses like electricity, internet, water, security alarm, insurance, accountant… let’s say all together about 1500 eur/month so we have 8500 eur/months optimistic basic costs.

 

Continuing… the initial investment, again quite optimistic. For sure local needs some refurbishing, adjustments plus to start activity in entertainment area you need some special projects and some special adjustments to get license (like for example toilet for handicapped). Let’s be optimistic and say those costs 25000 eur. You need hardware, it spouses to be something not the basic one, something in the middle, to give people better experience but still have good price, and do not change it in few months. With HTC Vive Business I guess 3000 eur/station, so 24000 eur for 8 stations. Initial costs together are about 49000 euro.

 

Now let continue with profits, you have 8 stations, open 28 days a month, and again be optimistic, lets say you sell each day 4h on each station, so 28x8x4x20,55eur=18412,80 eur but licenses in subscription costs 28x8x4x10= 8960,00 eur so only 9452,80 eur to pay monthly costs 8500 eur so lucky you still have profit :) almost 1000 euro… with this profit in 4 years you will get back your initial costs (49k euro) or you don’t? Because even if you invest in ferly good hardware you need to change all in about 2 years (or even faster, when new better version of HTC Vive will be on the market) and I guess during 4 years you need to refurbish your place…

 

And all those calculations were without unexpected costs which for sure happen, how often something break? I guess in such intensive use, when people sweat a lot, HTC Vive may have problems… and how about other incidences. How fro example about expenses for advertisement? How about other expenses I probably forget here?

 

Anyway, as you can see there is no chance to keep current popular price 25 eur/hour and use HTC commercial subscription as a main source of license. Of course, prices may rise, but customers will vote with their wallets and just not come, there is a reason why now the price is about 25 eur/hour and will drop down probably in the future. If it was possible to charge more, for sure people would charge.

 

But this license price 10eur/hour is just too much, in this calculation, each station license costs about 1100 eur/month. Is any game worth it? I think currently the most expensive commercial license for 1 tittle (Raw Data in Deluxe Arcade Version) costs about 100 eur/month (or even less if their price drop downs), so 10 time less… OK, it is just one tittle, but in 1 minute 1 customer play only 1 tittle, so ok, I could imagine that it would cost for example 200 eur/month for station, double the most expensive license cost, but 10 times more… it is too much.

 

As I wrote before I hope someone will reconsider prices, I guess not before official start, but at least fairly son, when you see how people vote with their wallets. The idea to charge for time is very nice, it could help the business grow, it could help smaller developer to get some income if they create something interesting, but with those prices it does not change anything. Now it seems average Steam commercial price is about 40 eur/month, so if arcade owner expecting to sell more than 4 hours of play/station, it is better to use Steam, and really, I’m sure top, popular tittle will sell more hours than just 4, and those less popular… who care, they not have to be in the offer.

 

The solution could be one additional subscription option, for example 200 eur/month/station flat rate without time limit, it could give quite nice money for HTC and each developer to share according to used minutes, and same time final price for end customer could be on acceptable level.

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 Hmm... I send my answer about 1 hour ago, it was visible, even I edited it little bit to correct some misspeling... and it disspaear just now, do you have any idea what could happen?

 

Also, I guess, you have this post in your emial, as it is attached to forum new post notification, so if possible coudl you send it to me, so I can send it again, without rewriting everything? Aalos if anyone else has this post in email notification, please forward it to me. :)

 

Thank you in advance!

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Hello , thank you very much once again for help with my lost post recovery and also again thank you for your previous answer. :) I repost my previosu post again bellow.

 

You’re right, I didn’t notice that individual subscription is only 5 titles per month. Good news for VRcades. :)  I have one more question about details, am I right that 10eur/hour is price without VAT, so actually it is going to be for example in Spain, 10eur + 21% VAT / hour so 12,10eur/hour?

 

I also wanted to make one thing clear. When I was writing about arcade operator who just rent hardware and place, not software I really mean that. What if customer come and just login to his own account on Steam and play the game he has on his own account? For sure it is not “public exhibit” (especially in VR, quite private experience), he just rent a place and play his own game. If compare with Netflix, is like situation when I’m in hotel room and there is TV with Netflix software, they can’t use “hotel subscription” but they can just put TV with Netflix, and if only I have my own account I can login and watch movies. With games, in some cases, it is quite natural, for example Elite Dangerous, it is great game without VR, but even greater in VR. I can easy imagine someone who spend hours in not VR version in home, would like to test how it is to fly his spaceship in VR and using own account is only way.

 

And continuing about private vs commercial subscription, even if private is only 5 titles a month, still if someone want to spend in VR for example 1 hour and he has a choice, pay for example 15eur/hour for renting hardware and place plus 12,10eur/ hour for software (together 27,10eur/hour) or he just can pay 15eur/hour plus 6,99eur …. Even if he spends just 1 hour, it still only 21,99eur, so over 5 eur less, but what if he wants to spend more than just 1 hour a month? What if he shares his account with any of his friends? Also, let’s forget about private subscription, with this price, if someone want to “master” any game and play it more than just once, more than 1-2 hour in lifetime, it would be better for this person to buy this game on Steam and come to VRcade with his own copy, than pay additional 12,10 eur/hour. The point is, that I didn’t mean to use private subscription by arcade owner (of course it would be illegal), I mean with this high commercial price even if each customer has his own private subscription and use it just for 1 hour play, still the price is better.

 

You know, I have a feeling that somewhere during all prices calculation someone forget about end customers who are going to pay all costs and how much maximum they can pay. When you check prices in different VRcades in European Union, it seems that the average price is 20-25eur/hour, let’s be optimistic and use 25eur/hour. This is VAT included (in EU average is 21%) so 20,66eur/hour left.

 

Now basic monthly cost calculation. VR needs space if we want high quality experience, minimum 9m2 for 1 station, lets imagine not very small not very big, 8 station VRcade. It needs 72m2 just for play area, but you need corridors, walls, you need waiting area, you need toilets and usually the dimensions do not fit perfectly your needs (especially when you need to take care of laser licking problem) so to have 8 stations, you need about 150m2 place. In big city in Spain, in not perfect, but fairly good location such place costs about 2500-3000 eur/month . You need stuff, 8 stations, I believe minimum 3 persons would be necessary to make things fluent. About 1500 each (included insurance, taxes and other things like that). Together it is 4500 eur/month. Now some additional expenses like electricity, internet, water, security alarm, insurance, accountant… let’s say all together about 1500 eur/month so we have 8500 eur/months optimistic basic costs.

 

Continuing… the initial investment, again quite optimistic. For sure local needs some refurbishing, adjustments plus to start activity in entertainment area you need some special projects and some special adjustments to get license (like for example toilet for handicapped). Let’s be optimistic and say those costs 25000 eur. You need hardware, it spouses to be something not the basic one, something in the middle, to give people better experience but still have good price, and do not change it in few months. With HTC Vive Business I guess 3000 eur/station, so 24000 eur for 8 stations. Initial costs together are about 49000 euro.

 

Now let continue with profits, you have 8 stations, open 28 days a month, and again be optimistic, lets say you sell each day 4h on each station, so 28x8x4x20,55eur=18412,80 eur but licenses in subscription costs 28x8x4x10= 8960,00 eur so only 9452,80 eur to pay monthly costs 8500 eur so lucky you still have profit almost 1000 euro… with this profit in 4 years you will get back your initial costs (49k euro) or you don’t? Because even if you invest in ferly good hardware you need to change all in about 2 years (or even faster, when new better version of HTC Vive will be on the market) and I guess during 4 years you need to refurbish your place…

 

And all those calculations were without unexpected costs which for sure happen, how often something break? I guess in such intensive use, when people sweat a lot, HTC Vive may have problems… and how about other incidences. How for example about expenses for advertisement? How about other expenses I probably forget here?

 

Anyway, as you can see there is no chance to keep current popular price 25 eur/hour and use HTC commercial subscription as a main source of license. Of course, prices may rise, but customers will vote with their wallets and just not come, there is a reason why now the price is about 25 eur/hour and will drop down probably in the future. If it was possible to charge more, for sure people would charge.

 

But this license price 10eur/hour is just too much, in this calculation, each station license costs about 1100 eur/month. Is any game worth it? I think currently the most expensive commercial license for 1 tittle (Raw Data in Deluxe Arcade Version) costs about 100 eur/month (or even less if their price drop downs), so 10 time less… OK, it is just one tittle, but in 1 minute 1 customer play only 1 tittle, so ok, I could imagine that it would cost for example 200 eur/month for station, double the most expensive license cost, but 10 times more… it is too much.

 

As I wrote before I hope someone will reconsider prices, I guess not before official start, but at least fairly son, when you see how people vote with their wallets. The idea to charge for time is very nice, it could help the business grow, it could help smaller developer to get some income if they create something interesting, but with those prices it does not change anything. Now it seems average Steam commercial price is about 40 eur/month, so if arcade owner expecting to sell more than 4 hours of play/station, it is better to use Steam, and really, I’m sure top, popular tittle will sell more hours than just 4, and those less popular… who care, they not have to be in the offer.

 

The solution could be one additional subscription option, for example 200 eur/month/station flat rate without time limit, it could give quite nice money for HTC and for each developer to share according to used minutes, and same time final price for end customer could be on acceptable level.

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