Netflix Teams with Roblox in Creation of ‘Digital Theme Park’

Netflix announced it is launching a “digital theme park” in early access on the Roblox online gaming platform. Web-based universe “Netflix Nextworld” will feature mini-games, easter eggs, watch parties, user-generated content and more “in 3D interactive spaces” based on characters and content from popular Netflix franchises such as “Stranger Things,” “One Piece,” “Cobra Kai” and the “Rebel Moon” movies. There will also be an activity based on the upcoming animated series, “Jurassic World: Chaos Theory.” Users will be able to collect objects and wearables from the shows and movies to post in their Fan Pods, which can be shared online with friends. Continue reading Netflix Teams with Roblox in Creation of ‘Digital Theme Park’

Disney Announces Gaming and Sports Part of Growth Strategy

The Walt Disney Company announced revenue of $23.5 billion for the quarter ending December 31, essentially consistent year-over-year, while net income was up 49 percent to $1.91 billion year-over-year. CEO Bob Iger amplified plans to bring the company “to a period of sustained growth.” Following news that ESPN plans to partner on a new sports streaming platform, Iger disclosed a $1.5 billion investment in “Fortnite” creator Epic Games that will see the companies “collaborate on an all-new games and entertainment universe.” He also revealed Disney+ will exclusively stream Taylor Swift’s “The Eras Tour” concert film. Continue reading Disney Announces Gaming and Sports Part of Growth Strategy

Tech Leaders Map the Multiverse at ETC Digital Town Square

On March 2, an international gathering of media technology executives and startups spent an hour discussing “the multiverse” and related topics. It was part of a day-long SPROCKIT Sync and ETC@USC Multiverse Symposium co-sponsored by the ETC and SPROCKIT, with additional support from ETC member Ronin X Foundation. Moderated by ETC’s Phil Lelyveld and Ronin X’s Sandeep Casi, attendees debated how to define the metaverse; discussed how development would impact contracts, rights and payments; raised tech implications of free range experiences and dynamic storytelling on capture and distribution processes and infrastructure; and addressed mixed reality experiences being planned and tested for theme parks. Watch a 9-minute video highlight reel of the discussion. Continue reading Tech Leaders Map the Multiverse at ETC Digital Town Square

Record $7.4B in Theme Parks Propels Profit Surge for Disney

It was a successful fiscal third quarter for The Walt Disney Company, which saw revenue jump 26 percent and profits up 54 percent compared to the same period in 2021. The company, celebrating its centenary, had revenue of $21.5 billion and profits of $1.41 billion (77 cents a share) for the three months ending July 2. Theme park revenue was up more than 70 percent, to $7.4 billion, as the company continued to shake COVID-19 contractions. For an added flourish, Disney+ grew a whopping 31 percent worldwide, adding 14.4 million subscribers to top out at 152 million. Continue reading Record $7.4B in Theme Parks Propels Profit Surge for Disney

‘Jurassic World VR Expedition’ Is Coming to Dave & Buster’s

Universal, The Virtual Reality Company (VRC), VRstudios and Dave & Buster’s will debut the largest-ever commercial virtual reality deployment on June 14 when the multiplayer “Jurassic World VR Expedition” comes to 112 Dave & Buster’s entertainment restaurants. Universal’s film “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” is slated to open in U.S. theaters on June 22. VRstudios offers the high-end VRcade Attraction Management Platform (AMP) targeted for location-based entertainment sites. Dave & Buster’s executive Kevin Bachus, who co-created the Xbox game console, felt it was a good step for first-time VR users. Continue reading ‘Jurassic World VR Expedition’ Is Coming to Dave & Buster’s

Top Tech Companies Bullish On a Wireless Future for AR/VR

A Digital Hollywood panel at CES 2018 comprised of top AR/VR executives from Google, Unity Technologies, THX, HP and MPC considered the pace of the technologies’ adoption and predicted the progress we’ll see in 2018. Moderator Steve Masur, a senior partner at MG+ tech law firm, noted that many are disappointed with the pace of AR/VR adoption — but he is not one of them. “I think the industry is just fine,” he said. “A few years ago we thought we’d gain mass consumer adoption, but we have to go through revolutions of adoption.” Continue reading Top Tech Companies Bullish On a Wireless Future for AR/VR

LinkedIn Rolls Out Feature That Allows Users to Post Videos

Following a period of testing, LinkedIn is launching a “video” button on its iOS and Android apps, debuting it globally over several weeks. The button will allow users to record a new video or upload an existing one. According to the company, which is a subsidiary of Microsoft, it will allow users to share aspects of their professional lives in a new way, and to a professional audience. The addition of video on LinkedIn takes place as companies such as Apple, Facebook and YouTube are investing in original video content. Continue reading LinkedIn Rolls Out Feature That Allows Users to Post Videos

‘Cars 3’ Released in Experiential 4DX Format, Boosting Trend

“Cars 3” became the first Pixar film to be distributed in the 4DX motion-based “immersive” film format from CJ 4DPlex, one of several formats that give the moviegoer a physical experience, as seats shake, tilt and pivot and the theater emits scents, sprays of water, fog and strobe-lighting, all relevant to what’s on the screen. These experiential formats have focused mainly on superhero and action movies, although 4DX films were released for “Despicable Me” in 2010, as well as “The Jungle Book” and “Kung Fu Panda 3.” Continue reading ‘Cars 3’ Released in Experiential 4DX Format, Boosting Trend

FoxNext Pursues Mobile Gaming With Aftershock Purchase

FoxNext — the gaming, VR and theme park division of 21st Century Fox — is making a move into mobile games with its purchase of Aftershock, a mobile games spinoff of Vancouver-based Kabam, itself purchased by South Korean gaming company Netmarble. With studios in Los Angeles and San Francisco, Aftershock is developing a massive multiplayer mobile strategy game around the blockbuster movie “Avatar” in partnership with director James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment and 20th Century Fox. Aftershock reportedly has two other game titles in development. Continue reading FoxNext Pursues Mobile Gaming With Aftershock Purchase

‘Ghostbusters’ VR Experience Coming to Times Square in July

The VOID (Vision of Infinite Dimensions), a virtual reality theme park in Utah, is launching a new VR experience in NYC’s Times Square in partnership with Sony Pictures, for the studio’s new “Ghostbusters” film. Opening up small-scale versions of its Utah park is part of the company’s business plan, along with creating its own content and immersive versions of films and video games. In Utah’s park, attendees wear a haptic suit that tracks their movements and a VR headset, powered by a supercomputer backpack that allows untethered walking. Continue reading ‘Ghostbusters’ VR Experience Coming to Times Square in July

New Roller Coaster at UK Theme Park Utilizes VR Headset

The Alton Towers theme park in the United Kingdom will open a new attraction this spring that combines the movement of a roller coaster and the immersive experience of a VR headset. The ride is called Galactica and it is designed to make riders feel like astronauts. People will climb into the seats, put on the headset, and go on a space journey complete with real g-forces and visuals that exaggerate the movement of the coaster. The “world’s first virtual reality roller coaster” will open in April. Continue reading New Roller Coaster at UK Theme Park Utilizes VR Headset

Disney Plans June Opening for its New Theme Park in China

After a decade of planning and five years construction, The Walt Disney Company is set to open the Shanghai Disney Resort in the spring. The $5.5 billion project is a testament to the growing interest in bringing American entertainment brands to Chinese consumers. The 963-acre theme park, complete with an Enchanted Storybook Castle and a Mandarin version of “The Lion King” musical, is expected to be one of the largest Disney parks in the world. Disney already operates a park in Hong Kong. Continue reading Disney Plans June Opening for its New Theme Park in China

Marvel Experience is Immersive, Next-Gen Traveling Attraction

“The Marvel Experience” is an upcoming traveling attraction that combines a theme park 4D motion ride, 360-degree display, and a collection of popular superheroes. Hero Ventures, the entertainment company behind “The Marvel Experience,” announced that it has tapped Jerry Rees, a Disney theme park attraction director, to help create the multimedia traveling show. Rhythm & Hues and Prana are the studios in charge of the VFX and animation. Continue reading Marvel Experience is Immersive, Next-Gen Traveling Attraction

Universal Studios Hollywood to Receive a $1.6 Billion Makeover

Comcast plans to renovate 70 percent of the California theme park, Universal Studios Hollywood, with thousands of parking spaces, improved transit, two 500-room hotels, and most importantly, new attractions designed to broaden their fan base. Several “Despicable Me” inspired attractions will open for young riders on Saturday. Other updates, including the highly anticipated “Wizarding World of Harry Potter” attraction, will be completed by 2016. Continue reading Universal Studios Hollywood to Receive a $1.6 Billion Makeover

Disney to Acquire Popular YouTube Network Maker Studios

It has been confirmed that Disney is acquiring Maker Studios, a top YouTube multichannel network, for $500 million, with a performance-based earn-out of up to $450 million. The deal is expected to provide Disney with insight into new patterns of discovery and interaction regarding short-form online videos, especially among millennials. Maker Studios was founded in 2009. The network generates more than 5.5 billion monthly video views from its 380 million subscribers. Continue reading Disney to Acquire Popular YouTube Network Maker Studios