Will The Coronavirus Kill VR Arcades?

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Will The Coronavirus Kill VR Arcades?
March 17, 2020

Community Download is a weekly discussion-focused articles series published (usually) every Monday in which we pose a single, core question to you all, our readers, in the spirit of fostering discussion and debate. For today’s Community Download, we want to hear what you think about the Coronavirus and its impact on VR, specifically VR arcades.

 

It’s way past time to take the Coronavirus (COVID-19) seriously. Here in the United States, governors across the nation are urging restaurants, bars, and any other in-person business to transition to delivery and remote work as much as possible, even going so far as shutting them down in some states. Many employees at companies across the country are working from home as well to limit social contact.

 

We’ve already started noting some impacted businesses. Locations like Two Bit Circus are closing down (temporarily) for now, while others like The VOID are not (yet) but we expect this to continue hitting industries such as VR arcades fast and hard. It’s unclear how large and far-reaching the impact will be at this time.

 

How much worse do you think this is going to get? Will the coronavirus (COVID-19) have a big enough impact to totally wipe out the location-based VR sub-market, or at least severely cripple it? If not in the US with big companies like The Void, what about in China, where most consumers don’t have the space or money for VR at home?

 

Beyond location-based markets, COVID-19 is already impacting VR as a whole too. The Quest is struggling to stay in stock due to production issues, the same goes for the Index, E3 2020 in June has been canceled, conferences are moving to in-VR events, GDC 2020 is postponed, F8 is canceled.

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