IGT Launches VR ‘Virtual Zone’ at Orleans

IGT partnered with Seattle-based virtual reality company HTC VIVE Studios to content for IGT’s “Virtual Zone” platform for casinos, now live at the Orleans in Las Vegas.

Gaming supplier International Game Technology Plc. launched its first “Virtual Zone” attraction last week at the Orleans in Las Vegas, developed under a partnership with HTC VIVE studios, a Seattle-based developer of room-scale virtual-reality content.

Orleans players at the attraction engage in spirited VR tournaments, and enjoy competitive VR games in a physical installation. The first two games to launch in the Virtual Zone are tournament-compatible archery titles SiegeVR and ArcheryVR.

“Boyd Gaming is excited to offer our customers the opportunity to compete for Slot Dollars in IGT’s Virtual Zone,” said Matt Ryan, Boyd Gaming senior vice president and chief marketing officer. “Adding a virtual reality experience to the Orleans’ casino floor is a positive step toward enhancing our entertainment offerings with new, interactive content that can reward B Connected members and engage an expanded demographic of players.”

“IGT is pleased to bring our Virtual Zone VR solution to market with our valued customers at Boyd Gaming,” said Nick Khin, IGT chief commercial officer, gaming. “The Virtual Zone melds exceptional content with industry-leading hardware and proven tournament technology, to create a unique experience that Boyd Gaming can leverage to help differentiate its casino floors and drive incremental play.”

Members of Boyd Gaming’s B Connected loyalty club program can buy-into The Orleans’ daily VR tournaments for a flat fee. Two-person teams can compete in Siege VR tournaments, individuals can compete in Archery VR tournaments, or players can individually practice their Archery VR skills for a reduced fee.

The Virtual Zone marks HTC VIVE Studios’ first foray into the casino entertainment industry and the completion of IGT’s first market-ready VR solution.

“Arcade-like installations and experiences are skyrocketing across the globe as VR has proven to be a consistent traffic generator in entertainment venues,” said Joel Breton, HTC VIVE vice president of global content. “By combining IGT’s gaming expertise and the world’s best VR in HTC VIVE, we are launching a combined platform that can deploy the best complete experiences for VR tournaments or stand-alone VR arcades. This is also a huge opportunity for more consumers to be exposed to amazing VR content.”

“IGT’s Virtual Zone represents an exciting evolution of modern-day casino entertainment, and an important step in diversifying IGT’s portfolio with unique offerings that can differentiate our customers’ casino floors and entertain a broad demographic of players,” said Enrico Drago, IGT’s senior vice president of global product marketing, interactive, betting and licensing. “HTC VIVE’s leadership in the VR space and commitment to developing unparalleled VR player experiences made it the ideal partner for IGT’s first commercialized VR solution, the Virtual Zone.”

To support the tournament platform, IGT published a Software Development Kit (SDK), which game designers can leverage to develop VR content for the Virtual Zone. VIVE Studios was the first developer to leverage IGT’s SDK, adapting the Arcade Saga game into a product that is designed to be tournament-ready for casino floors.

“IGT is committed to developing and delivering the most compelling content for our customers across multiple channels and platforms,” said Drago. “Arcade Saga is a testament to the usability and relevance of IGT’s SDK. HTC successfully adapted one of its most popular VR titles into a solution that IGT customers can leverage to entertain their players in a new way. We look forward to the further expansion of IGT’s VR content library through this program.”