IMAX to pump $50m into top-notch VR content
IMAX has completed the first phase of a $50 million virtual reality fund to help finance the creation of at least 25 interactive VR content experiences over the next three years for use across all VR platforms including in IMAX VR centres.
IMAX is making the investment with strategic investors including Acer, CAA, China Media Capital, Enlight Media, The Raine Group, Studio City and WPP.
IMAX and its partners will use the funds to aid in the creation of high quality VR content targeting premium event-style productions with its Hollywood studio and filmmaker partners, as well as gaming publishers and other leading content developers.
“We will be leveraging our collective relationships with world-class filmmakers and content creators to fund VR experiences that excite and attract a larger user base to capitalize on opportunities across all VR platforms including IMAX VR,” said IMAX Corp. CEO Richard L. Gelfond.
The announcement is also related to IMAX’s efforts to provide its upcoming IMAX VR centres an ongoing array of premium interactive content experiences that let users see, feel, move and play in new worlds in a powerfully immersive and realistic way.
The company, which is already in advanced discussions with numerous content developers – including Hollywood studios and gaming publishers – intends to utilize the cinema-grade virtual reality camera that it is currently developing in partnership with Google for several of the projects.
“With VR in its ascendancy, this initiative is a key step in ensuring that more high-quality content makes its way to various VR platforms, including IMAX VR centres,” said IMAX chief business development officer Robert D. Lister. “We were extremely pleased with the significant interest we received from such a prominent group of investors, and together, we look forward to helping usher in the next generation of highly differentiated, highly immersive VR content experiences to audiences worldwide.”
IMAX is in the process of launching its first pilot IMAX VR centres in Los Angeles and at ODEON & UCI Cinemas Group’s Printworks multiplex location in Manchester, England. The company is also targeting additional test facilities in China, Japan, the U.S., the Middle East and Western Europe in the coming months. END