Immotion partners with casino operator Rank Group


Salford virtual reality specialist Immotion is putting its new racing simulator in Rank’s Grosvenor casino in Manchester, before rolling out to some of the 53 other UK sites

The AIM-listed group has signed a revenue sharing deal with Rank Group which will see it roll out its virtual reality (VR) machines at some of the casino giant’s sites.

Immotion will trial its new VR Racing Challenge simulator game at the Grosvenor casino in Manchester.

Should that initial run prove successful, the plan is to roll out more machines at some of Grosvenor’s 53 other UK casinos.

“We continue to see strong interest from major leisure operators wanting to partner with Immotion Group to exploit the growing appetite for VR,” said Immotion chief executive Martin Higginson.

“As the only player offering quality proprietary content, motion platform and marketing solutions in multiple jurisdictions, we are quickly becoming the VR partner of choice,” he added.

Immotion said it has enjoyed a period of “strong trading”, especially during the recent October half-term holiday.

Following this, it said it is opening five new ImmotionVR Experience Centres, two of which will be at Intu shopping centres in Glasgow and Newcastle. London, Swindon and Birmingham are the other locations.

These will bring the number of UK centres up to 12, including the Manchester Arndale, and the plan is to grow that to 50 over the next two years.

Two new concession partners which should “substantially increase” the number of installed gaming seats have also come on board, while Immotion is also opening two smaller sites in Somerset and Nottingham.

In July this year Immotion announced a partnership with Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester owner Merlin Entertainments.

The firm, which was formed from the merger of Studio Liddell, a Manchester-based CGI studio, and Los Angeles-based filmmakers C2K, provided the content for ‘The Great Lego Race’.

The group is targeting more rapid growth in the US, where it recently opened its first test site in Los Angeles.

It expects this will be a success and is targeting 100 US centres by the end of 2020.

Immotion has also made a move into the potentially lucrative Middle East market, having signed an agreement with shopping malls owner Al Hokair Group.

Like the Rank deal, this tie-up will see one ImmotionVR Experience Centre opened in Abu Dhabi, with further to follow, based on test results.

“The new concession initiatives with The Rank Group and Al Hokair are both major milestones for the company and I am confident that following successful trials we will have a clear runway for future site rollout,” said Higginson.

He also highlighted two new experiences, including Elf Power Inc, which he reckons will prove a hit over the upcoming holiday season.