How VR is Disrupting the Laser Tag Industry
Laser Tag is a household name in the United States today and is especially popular among kids. It is frequently experienced as part of parties and events at thousands of arcades and arenas globally. The technology behind laser tag was first introduced during the 1970’s and early 1980’s when then U.S. Army developed combat training technologies for soldiers. Called the Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (MILES), this precursor to modern-day laser tag technology is still in use by the army.
After the world’s first laser tag entertainment facility, Photon Center, opened in 1984, the concept was widely adopted within the United States and subsequently globally. However, in recent years laser tag’s popularity has been declining due to rising consumer expectation, more at-home entertainment options, and the desire for more exciting, immersive experiences.
Concurrent with laser tag’s decline has been a slow, but steady rise in popularity of virtual reality (VR) entertainment experiences at arcades and entertainment centers. However, until recently, VR systems were expensive, clunky, and have not been able to match laser tag’s ability to handle large groups of players simultaneously. A new VR system named LimitlessVR debuted at the IAAPA EXPO in Orlando, FL to much fanfare. It boasted 16 simultaneous players with the promise of up to 30 players. Furthermore, LimitlessVR could be played in the same arena as traditional laser tag system.
This system represented a major turning point for the laser tag experience. By leveraging VR technology, laser tag players could experience a potentially unlimited number of themed environments, many powerups and weapon choices, and visually engaging special effects during gameplay.
By the Summer of 2022, the LimitlessVR system was featured in four entertainment facilities globally, with many more venues poised to offer the system in late 2022 and throughout 2023. Some in the industry expect that the rise of VR laser tag systems will eclipse the analog laser tag systems that were popular in the 1980’s and 1990’s. It is expected that this disruption to the laser tag industry will ultimately reverse the declining trend by bringing people back to entertainment facilities for some traditional group fun, but with a high-tech twist.
Dimension XR is one of the first few locations that publicly launched the LimitlessVR system in 2022, serving the Seattle region with its first arena-scale VR laser tag system.