During an interview at the VRTL summit in Los Angeles last week, Chief Digital Officer for Warner Bros. Thomas Gewecke spoke about the potential and opportunities presented by the virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) industry.
Gewecke spoke of how Warner Bros is experimenting with VR and AR technology and looking into how it can be successfully monetised, but cautioned that there is still a lot of work to be done: “We think VR and AR represent an enormous opportunity,” Gewecke said, “The potential is huge. We’ve learned that we are in the really early days.”
One of the lessons the company has learned, according to Gewecke, was about the need to build experiences that are compatible with multiple platforms. Something that was learned after the launch of Batman Arkham VR, initially for PlayStation VR, then ported on to Oculus Rift and HTC Vive for release last week. Though Gewecke insisted that Warner Bros. Is not dissatisfied with how Batman Arkham VR performed: “we are really happy with how it did,” Gewecke said.
Warner Bros are also trying to tie in the movie division with VR, having announced a partnership with IMAX to co-finance three VR experiences for Warner Bros movies such as the upcoming comic book movies Justice League and Aquaman. The studio are also partnering with HTC to create a VR tie-in to upcoming movie adaptation of Ernest Cline’s sci-fi novel Ready Player One: “It’s an incredible story, incredible book. It will be a really great vehicle for raising awareness about the whole category.”