If reenacting deadly challenges from Netflix’s “Squid Game” with your pals sounds like a rollicking night out, you’re in luck.
Sandbox VR, an operator of location-based virtual reality experiences, announced a partnership with Netflix to create a “fully immersive” VR experience based on the extremely violent “Squid Game” thriller from South Korea.
The Sandbox VR x Squid Game virtual-reality experience is set to open in late 2023. In it, players are transported to multiple “Squid Game” locations, where they become contestants in a variety of “pulse-pounding challenges” inspired by the Netflix show and compete against each other to be the last one standing, according to the company. After each game session, Sandbox VR will give players personalized highlight video reels capturing their in-game reactions and recapping how their own Squid Game story played out.
“Squid Game,” the smash hit that is Netflix’s most-watched show of all time in its initial release, has already been adapted as a VR experience by interactive gaming company Immersive Gamebox, which launched last summer at locations worldwide.
Netflix has ordered a second season of “Squid Game.” It also greenlit reality show called “Squid Game: The Challenge” — which has been the subject of negative headlines over alleged “inhumane” conditions experienced by the U.K.-based production’s contestants. (The show’s producers say “claims of serious harm to players are simply untrue.”)
Founded in 2016, Sandbox VR operates in more than 30 global locations, including a dozen launched in the last 12 months. Each location is more than 5,000 square feet with at least four decks in which guests experience the virtual worlds.
“Our mission is to bring people closer together through world-class immersive experiences. What could be a more perfect fit than ‘Squid Game,’ the most widely shared and discussed television series of the past years?” Sandbox VR founder/CEO Steve Zhao said in a statement. “It’s an amazing opportunity to partner with Netflix to provide these fans the chance to transport themselves into the world of the show.”
Sandbox VR uses motion-tracking technology, which captures the movements of a player’s entire body, combined with a haptic-feedback system. That yields an experience “not possible with home VR or other location-based VR platforms,” the company claims.
The company’s six experiences currently in the market are “Star Trek: Discovery,” “Deadwood Valley,” “Deadwood Mansion,” “Curse of Davy Jones,” “Amber Sky 2088” and “UFL: Unbound Fighting League.” Sandbox VR’s investors include Andreessen Horowitz, Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund, Gobi Partners and Craft, along with individual investors including Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, Kevin Durant and Will Smith.
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