I started a VR arcade called 'The VR Club' in Takapuna, Auckland. Funnily enough I actually dismissed the idea right here on Geekzone almost two years ago, but obviously came around on it in a big way.
I was hooked on VR back when I got my own Vive in early 2017, and that same day some neighbourhood kids I had never met before were knocking on the door to play with it! That was when I knew it would be popular. I toyed with the idea of a small popup at my local community hall, then found that there was already an arcade running in Mt Roskill, so I worked there for a short stint. I've now been open for business with my own arcade for two months and have seen wonderful growth and community feedback already.
What does worry me though is being able to pay the bills. While my prices are fairly high it's no less value than other arcades, and being able to provide multiplayer games in an open and welcoming environment (as opposed to a dark cybercafe dungeon), and the relatively high prices to get VR at home (still), and the addictive nature of VR and many of the games, means I've already got repeat customers and regulars.
Marketing is my biggest weakness. I have very little budget left over for it and it often feels like I'm shooting blindly hoping something will stick. Plus I'm working there myself 80+ hours a week so I don't have much time go door-knocking.
I am also a bit of a dev myself, animation specifically. I've got two VR games in the works, one of which is the Half-Life 2 VR mod. If you're an old-school gamer you'll surely have fond memories blasting the combine! Swinging that crowbar in VR with your actual arms is incredibly satisfying. My arcade will be the first place in the world you'll be able to try it out ahead of its general public release, so if you're keen be sure to keep an eye on my facebook page. Hopefully it's ok to put a small plug here for it! Just search 'thevrclub' and it should pop up.
Any ideas and feedback especially for marketing would be great, or if you just want to chat about VR definitely hit me up!