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ARENA SPACE: VIRTUAL REALITY IN KAZAKHSTAN

29.04.2018

ARENA SPACE: VIRTUAL REALITY IN KAZAKHSTAN

Karakat Makadieva, 37, from Ust-Kamenogorsk



On the starting point


The Arena Space VR Park is a family business. It’s a new kind of VR entertainment introducing a new world.

I deal with financial issues and personnel management, while technical and game content is handled by my husband. My husband got crazy about Oculus Rift VR headset in 2012. In 2016 we found more sophisticated VR devices and started thinking of opening a VR center. We bought a Moscow franchise founded by Vasilyi Ryzhonkov, director of the Skolkovo Innovation center. The franchise has branches in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Ufa and other Russian cities. Our VR Park is one and only in Kazakhstan for now. We launched the project in March, 2018.

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The franchisor provides us with the design, logo, market issues, helps choose the location, and gives green light in certain cases only. The center has a CRM-system, games are controlled via the software.

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On the VR park


We have three types of attractions. A paraglider is really interesting: you sit in a chair and enjoy the pic on the screen. VR headsets let you sit in high speed swings, fly on a hang glider or fly with an eagle. VR headsets even make you a Formula 1 racer, so that you feel grains of sand on the road. The VR-paraglider and a racing simulator cost 1000 tenge, at weekends they cost 2000 tenge.

You can play the VR-cube either individually or in a group of 3 people.

Our center is a cool way to spend time with friends.

We’ve got a VR-Quest service designed for three people. You’re to solve riddles in an hour and get a lot of impressions. Here you’re welcomed to have fun in the "Star Wars" episode! These days quests are quite popular, so we keep pace with time and have a virtual one not inferior to the real one. There’s a room of fear with a door slamming behind you and floor creaking. You must solve tasks and find the Grail.

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Tilt Brush is a popular 3D drawing game for kids. Children use different brushes and can observe the drawing process from the different angle. They choose ready-made sketches and complement them with drawing. Children prefer work stimulators, e.g. working as an office worker, an auto mechanic, a kitchen worker, a salesman, and performing tasks. Adults prefer crazy emotions, so they choose action games and horrors. All the actions are like the real ones. 20 minutes of VR-cube cost 1500 tenge, 30 minutes - 2000 tenge, 60 minutes - 4000 tenge. VR-quest for three people is 5000 tenge. There’re various combo tickets with several attractions types.

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There’re more than 100 games, and you can choose the appropriate genre: action, horror, adventure, quests, sports and games for kids. Games are designed for kids older than five. All the VR content was developed by Skolkovo and Arena Space. They keep in touch with worldly known producers of virtual games.

There’re two administrators to help you choose the game, give instructions and tips. We provide security and make an agreement to be warned about diseases or phobias to exclude any side effects.


On VR industry


VR is still being developed. A full effect of presence hasn’t been achieved, yet there’s an effect of increased presence.

The founder of the Arena Space Company organized a VR park to give an opportunity to play the game by not just watching but by acting


Scientists are working on wireless devices giving an opportunity to see the list of contacts, weather forecast, map, etc.


Also we sell 360-degree camcorders and compact VR headsets to have smartphones inserted in. You install software and watch a 360-degree videos. The VR headset developer is the French company called Homido. There’s a cheaper cardboard headset for 4000 tenge to watch a VR effect video which is a bit simpler. Special controllers, which are sold too, enable you control VR-games. VR-games can be bought at the VR Centre as well.


On plans


VR market is assumed to grow 30 times more actively in the foreseeable future. If the Apple launches an augmented virtual reality, the system will get more popularity and most people will finally know what virtual reality is. These days not many people in Kazakhstan are familiar with the VR system. People are always surprised.

Many think this entertainment to be childish. However, adults play and become happy like real kids.

The project is the first in Kazakhstan, we’re actively working on its promotion. Our visitors always leave us in a good mood. Once a group of friends from Karaganda visited us, they were looking for such a park of VR entertainment. We always try to take part in student activities; we’re partners of the Miss ENU competition.

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We’re making our first steps and now we’re planning to expand the park. The advantage of the VR park is that it’s modular and can be supplemented or transported. All the equipment can be taken out so we’re planning to launch offsite events as well.

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