Before trying the newest virtual reality attraction at Madame Tussauds in New York City, you’ll like need to sign a waiver indicating you ain’t ‘fraid of no ghost.
Sony Pictures has teamed up with Madame Tussauds and VR production company The Void to build the virtual reality experience Ghostbusters: Dimension. It opens July 1. This simulation is a promotion for the new Ghostbusters film that debuts in theaters July 15 in the United States, and it accompanies a number of other items related to the busting of spooks, specters, and ghosts. This isn’t the first time Hollywood has worked with VR, and many studios are finding that partnering with brands like this is one of the most lucrative businesses in the burgeoning VR market that analysts expect will grow to $40 billion by 2020.
To nail Ghostbusters: Dimension, The Void is working closely with Sony Pictures as well as director Paul Feig (Ghostbusters 2016) and Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters 1984). The experience will have players joining a team of supernatural exterminators as they chase a ghoul down to a New York apartment complex and trap it for permanent containment.
“Ghostbusters has an incredible, passionate fan following, and now VR technology allows the fans to become a Ghostbuster themselves within Madame Tussauds New York,” Reitman said in a canned statement. “The technology is breathtaking, the experience is thrilling, and what better way is there to use VR, than to let audiences inhabit the stories they love.”
Since Dimension is an installation, The Void is also planning to combine the VR elements with real-world props and effects. The company didn’t go into much detail, but somehow I think slime is probably involved.
VR is a technology with a lot of buzz, but that hasn’t translated into a massive consumer market. At this point, developers on platforms like Steam are lucky to sell a few thousand copies of a game for the SteamVR-enabled HTC Vive.
But developers think the potential is great, and so they are getting in early and doing work for Hollywood and other brand-heavy businesses. This is enabling a few companies to get experience working in this tech so they’re ready if Oculus, HTC, or someone else sells a few million head-mounted displays.