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Payday 2 developer Starbreeze Studios said today that it will set up a virtual reality arcade in Los Angeles as part of a bid to expose more people to VR — and make it popular.

The Swedish company disclosed the plan at the VRLA Winter Expo event in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles area has become a hotbed VR as both game companies and entertainment firms go after VR. The VRLA Winter Expo was expected to draw 3,000 people over the weekend. Investors threw more than $686 million into VR and augmented reality investments in 2015, according to tech advisor Digi-Capital.

The place will be called Project StarCade, and it will open later this year. The independent game creator and publisher hasn’t picked the location in Los Angeles yet.

“We continue to iterate the fact that VR really needs to be experienced in person to fully be able to appreciate the phenomenon, and why not have your first experience in a real premium setting in our StarVR headset?” said Starbreeze chief technology officer Emmanuel Marquez, in a statement. “We’ve managed to secure a prime location where people are welcome to step into our StarCade and enjoy our Overkill’s The Walking Dead VR experience. We’re developing our own StarCade catalogue of experiences, but we’re open to any content. We will invite developers to join us and give them the opportunity to put their content in our StarCade. We as an industry continuously need to educate ourselves to make VR truly successful, and this is just the first step in our planning to do so.”


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Starbreeze will showcase its own games, but it will also invite other developers to show off their offerings. Last week, Starbreeze said it had raised $40 million and secured the rights to Smilegate’s online shooter Crossfire. StarCade is expected to open by the end of this summer.

Starbreeze was founded in 1998.


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