IGT, Boyd launch VR archery tournaments at Vegas casino

TAGs: Boyd Gaming, htc vive, international game technology, virtual reality

boyd-igt-virtual-reality-vegas-casinoCasino operator Boyd Gaming and gaming supplier International Game Technology (IGT) aren’t giving up on bringing virtual reality (VR) technology to America’s casino gaming floors.

Boyd’s Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas recently announced the launch of new daily VR archery tournaments at the property’s Virtual Zone, which incorporates IGT’s VR platform and HTC Vive headset technology.

The Virtual Zone tournaments at the Orleans involve two archery games, SiegeVR and ArcheryVR, both of which involve players defending a castle by shooting virtual arrows at the hordes of aggressors attempting to storm the gates for the sake of (presumably) looting, pillaging and other socially frowned-upon activities.

The SiegeVR tournaments involve two-person teams competing against each other, with entry fees of $30 per team. Scoring is calculated by how many baddies your team knocks off with its arrows, and the top daily score wins $300 in ‘Slot Dollars’, which are only valid for 48 hours after they’ve been awarded.

For friendless archers, the single-player ArcheryVR tournaments cost $10 per person, with daily top scorer winning $125 in Slot Dollars. Regardless of which tournament style you fancy, your entry fee has to be in cash, and you also have to belong to Boyd’s B Connected rewards program.

Notably, the fine print indicates that Boyd has the right to turf so-called ‘advantage players,’ so if you have any Olympic gold medals for archery hanging in your closet at home, you’d be well advised to keep that info to yourself (and pretend to miss now and then).

The launch marks not only Boyd’s first VR entertainment offering but also the first time IGT’s VR platform has appeared on a casino gaming floor. IGT chief commercial officer Nick Khin said the VR platform delivers “an entertainment experience unlike anything previously offered on casino floors.”

Perhaps, but the millennials that habituate Vegas nightspots have so far proven relatively disinterested in some of the more innovative offerings that were specifically designed to entice them onto the casino gaming floor. The much-ballyhooed launch of so-called skill-based games have so far generated more headlines than revenue.

IGT announced its partnership with HTC Vive earlier this week, and HTC Vive’s VP of global content Joel Breton claimed VR tech “has proven to be a consistent traffic generator in entertainment venues.” VIVE Studios has already utilized IGT’s software development kit to develop a tournament-ready casino version of its Arcade Saga game. All that’s left now is the Field of Dreams question: we’ve built it, now will they come?


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