July 1, 2019

You can now fight robots and swim with sharks at the O2 Arena (in virtual reality)

By Luke Christou

As well as seeing your favourite acts and artists live, you will soon be able to ride rollercoasters, swim in the sea and fight your way through swarms of killer robots at the O2 Arena.

Virtual reality company Immotion Group have announced the installation of a VR entertainment zone at the 20,000-capacity music and entertainment venue in London, United Kingdom.

The VR zone will introduce those at the O2 to three VR experiences: a VR arena, which allows free-roam play for up to four people inside the popular Raw Data title; a VR cinema that puts users on a series of virtual rollercoasters, and another that allows users to swim with turtles, whales and sharks.

A six month trial of the VR entertainment zone is scheduled to run until early 2020, in order to gauge interest over the busy summer and Christmas periods. However, if successful, Immotion Group hopes to extend beyond this date and continue to work with the venue on a long-term basis.

Martin Higginson, CEO of Immotion Group, said: “I am thrilled to be bringing our VR experiences into such an iconic location as The O2. We are confident this initial trial through to early 2020 will prove successful and we look forward to working with Waterfront on a long-term basis.”

“Adding a range of VR experiences to this landmark destination will, we hope, make the visitor journey even more enjoyable.”

The leading VR company has previously installed VR experiences across the US, including at the Santa Barbara Zoo in California, the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, Illinois, and the The Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium in Sarasota, Florida.

A “unique experience”

This isn’t the first VR experience to join the O2 Arena’s lineup of shops, restaurants and entertainment. The Hollywood Bowl bowling alley has been offering Mario Kart and Winged Bicycle experiences at its VR Zone Portal inside the O2 since last summer.

However, the venue is confident that Immotion’s VR offerings will provide visitors with something unique.

“Immotion’s new VR entertainment zone is a great addition to the O2, providing visitors with a unique experience that complements the breadth of offer already available,” Marion Dillon, Leasing Director for The O2 Arena, said. 

“Initiatives such as this are vital as they provide additional reasons to visit, or can help extend an existing trip, both of which help deliver additional sales for our retailers, cafés, bars and restaurants.”

The O2 Arena VR experience is a joint venture between Immotion Group, O2 Arena owner Waterfront Limited Partnership, AEG Europe and Crosstree Retail Partners.

Read more: We Live in an Ocean of Air: How VR art is capturing the hearts and minds of audiences