There’s little question that virtual reality (VR) is one of the big breakout trends of 2016, but what’s needed to really bring VR out of the shadows and into the limelight is quality content. And that’s something we’ve started seeing more of with major media companies investing in the interactive medium.
The latest VR tidbit to emerge from the mainstream entertainment realm is that Warner Bros. has enlisted the help of Samsung to promote its upcoming movie “Suicide Squad,” a superhero yarn based on the DC Comics title of the same name.
As one of the most anticipated movies of the year — with reports suggesting it could garner $125 million on its opening weekend in early August — Warner Bros. is going all out to ensure the title gets maximum exposure.
At Comic-Con in San Diego on July 21, the Oculus-powered Samsung Gear VR will be on hand to bring fans directly into the world inhabited by “Suicide Squad” characters. Scenes from the movie will be recreated at the event, with users donning VR headsets able to re-enact the scenes, including receiving a customized “tattoo” in one of the character’s tattoo parlor’s. The VR experience will be introduced more broadly to Samsung Gear VR users in time for the film’s opening in theaters on August 5.
Visitors to Samsung 837, the electronics giant’s interactive store in New York, will also be able to experience “special ‘Suicide Squad’ VR content” when they walk through Samsung’s dedicated VR tunnel in the outlet.
“Our collective aim is to reward fans of the property both in the consumer market and by giving them the chance to immerse themselves in a virtual environment alongside the ‘Suicide Squad’ characters in a most realistic and exciting way,” said Gene Garlock, executive vice president of worldwide promotional alliances and partnerships at Warner Bros. Pictures.
Countless tech companies are working on products around virtual reality, from HTC and Facebook through to Google, Intel, and Huawei. This is having an indirect effect in the world of entertainment, with dedicated VR movie theaters coming to the fore, while Samsung recently teamed up with one of the world’s biggest amusement park operators to launch VR roller coasters. And last month, Samsung and NBC announced plans to broadcast 85 hours of virtual reality coverage of the Rio Olympic Games in August.
Suicide Squad is just the latest example that shows VR could finally be shaking off its gimmicky reputation, even if it’s not a permanent member of the mainstream entertainment club quite yet.