Imax is currently making its departure out of virtual reality (VR) official: The firm informed shareholders using a SEC filing Thursday it is going to shut down its remaining three VR facilities, also write off”particular VR content investments”
A company spokesperson confirmed the projected closures and shared with the following announcement with Variety:”With the initiation of the IMAX VR center pilot program our goal was to examine an assortment of unique theories and places to ascertain which approaches work nicely. Following a trial period using VR centers in multiplexes, we’ve opted to finish the IMAX VR center pilot program and shut the remaining three places at Q1 2019.”
The business formerly closed four of its seven VR facilities, such as most recently its only European outpost in Manchester. It operates three Imax VR places in Los Angeles, Bangkok, and Toronto.
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Imax launched Imax VR in ancient 2017 using a flagship place adjacent to the Grove mall at Los Angeles. At the moment, the growth into VR was charged as an experiment, and a means for Imax to ascertain if VR may be the upcoming huge thing for the business. Its initial approach called for the launching of about a dozen these VR centers across the Earth, which have been assumed to be utilised to fine-tune the design for potential further growth.
Imax also set up a 50 million VR content finance, and obtained CAA, China Media Capital, along with the Raine Group into co-produce VR experiences. The thought for these content investments was to provide Imax VR centers entry to exclusive windows for tentpole VR titles. Among those names co-financed from the finance had been “Justice League, An Imax VR Exclusive,” which surfaced in Imax VR centres in November.
In the long run, Imax started seven centres, but immediately realized that its take on location-based VR was not likely to become a direct money-maker. “The customer response was extremely favorable, however, the numbers just were not there,” confessed Imax CEO Richard Gelford through an earnings call earlier this season.
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The Business went to near a New York VR centre at June, and closed down its Shanghai VR centre in early July. Back in October, it shuttered another New York place, and executives told investors they did not expect any fresh investments in VR in 2019. Separately, Imax and Google also finished their joint evolution of a cinematic VR camera in the end of this past year.