Minority Media Jumping into New Worlds
Compact VR Platform Maker Focuses on Games With Replayability
Billed as “the industry’s smallest footprint 4-player VR system,” Minority Media’s Chaos Jump platform is looking to change the game and break virtual reality into even the smallest of family entertainment centers.
The system measures 12 feet squared. That’s right. Just 144 sq. ft. for a 4-player platform. That’s virtually unheard of. Minority believes the small footprint, coupled with their innovative “laser tag 2.0” style games, could propel them to the top of the location-based VR world.
“We’ve so far avoided the temptation of putting in filler content,” said Michael Zaidan, VP of business development and global sales for the company. “We really believe that all these VR systems with larger and larger libraries have a problem with replayability. That’s what we’re focused on – players coming back to play again and again.”
The Montreal-based company comes from a game development background. Founder Vander Caballero first designed Papa & Yo, a fantasy adventure video game released in 2012 for the PlayStation 3.
In 2016, they put out Time Machine VR, an underwater dinosaur adventure game for the consumer market.
“It was a commercial success, but the market wasn’t big enough to make that a home run,” Zaidan said. “The consumer market didn’t really take off –– it just never really grew enough.”
With years of VR experience already under their belts, the Minority Media team went to work on Chaos Jump, which had its debut at IAAPA 2018. Since then, they say 32 units have been sold and 23 have been installed in North America and Singapore. The first Chaos Jump install was at Boulzeye, an FEC in Quebec.
“The game really appeals to a lot of people,” Zaidan noted. “We weren’t the first in the market and we didn’t have an established location-based company to back us going in. The first sales were all me and my partners knocking on doors and shaking hands.”
A family-friendly game, Chaos Jump has up to four adventurers “battle a robot army determined to stop them as they travel across space and time to retrieve gold, treasure and artifacts from 18 exotic worlds.”
What’s unique about the game is that players are transported to randomized levels, helping to generate that repeat play desire (there are 495 possibly gameplay variations).
Reclaim!, which was released by the company in May, is its first esports title. In that game, players teleport from platform to platform in a virtual urban sci-fi environment, chasing, dodging and shooting at each other with their VR controllers while moving around the compact physical space.
There are three maps for the game, which Zaidan said will be up to 12 by the end of the year. He said to think of it as laser tag 2.0, jumping from the platforms.
“It’s essentially like having 12 different laser tag arenas,” he said. “We’ll have Reclaim! Paris and other cities coming soon.” Game developers at heart, Zaidan said the company is always upgrading its operating system and game software, meaning the latest in bug fixes and tech updates. “That’s something that’s in our DNA as game developers.”
“We have a bunch of games in development for the new platform,” he said. Other products are in the pipeline as well. Starting in 2020, Minority Media is promising one game a year for the platform moving forward.
It all comes back to having a great, replayable game. Additionally, for operators, it’s about doing that in a small footprint. The ROI is impressive, Zaidan said, noting FEG’s George Smith’s comments at this year’s F2FEC. “He said Chaos Jump is bringing in $2,800-$5,800 a week for him at his 500-room resort,” adding, “They just bought a second unit at Bowl Expo, just as it started.”
A big reason most FECs purchase it (or maybe a “small” reason) is because of that small footprint, he says.
“It’s the highest revenue per square foot out there,” Zaidan claimed. “It’s such an easy decision to make when you think of it that way. You’re able to put out our product plus a couple of Big Bass Wheel games versus another VR system.
“In the virtual world, you can be moving around a football field. There are all sorts of ways to control your space virtually rather than needing more physical space.”
A June announcement ahead of Bowl Expo really propped up Minority Media – a distribution agreement with Betson Enterprises, designed to expand the adoption of multiplayer VR attractions in the amusement industry.
“I think it gives us credibility,” Zaidan said. “They’ve been skeptical about VR in the past.”
But now, less than a year into the location-based VR game, Minority Media is seeing all of its hard on-the-ground work in development paying off.
Visit the company online at www.weareminority.com.