As part of the increasingly panicked movie industry’s attempt to find reasons to convince people to get off their couches and stop watching Netflix and come to a local movie theater to purchase ten dollar buckets of popcorn and nine dollar sodas, Warner Bros and Imax have announced a partnership to bring Justice League, Aquaman, and some other DC property to be named later to virtual reality! No, we’re not talking about the upcoming movies. These are brand new features designed specifically for virtual reality, according to a report from schedule-themed Hollywood gossip blog Deadline.
But wait, you ask. Aren’t virtual reality games the sort of thing you play on your $5,000 gaming PC at home, not the sort of thing you go to a public place so you can stand there like an idiot waving your arms around while wearing a large and unsightly helmet? Well, reader, there’s the genius part. Taking a queue from the feature film business, Imax will get these “premium, interactive virtual reality experiences” (don’t call them games, damn it) EXCLUSIVELY for a limited time, in hopes that people will flock to Imax virtual reality centers to play them for premium, interactive prices because they just can’t wait the three months to feel what it’s really like to be Aquaman at home (spoiler alert: it feels wet).
There are a few hurdles that Imax is going to need to tackle first before raking in all this sweet cash.. For one thing, only one of these virtual reality centers actually exists, in LA, where rich weirdos will pay for anything, though they’re building five more around the world, and plan to have twenty-five of them within three years. Apparently, though the virtual reality business made just $1 billion dollars last year, unidentified “analysts” claim it could soon become a $165 billion business, based presumably on the same sort of data that said we’d all be reading everything on our tablets and kill off the book industry by 2015.
“Justice League and Aquaman feature some of the most beloved characters on the planet, providing iconic properties to launch this effort,” claimed a corporate automaton from Imax. “This type of premium content will introduce audiences to virtual reality in standalone and multiplex-based Imax VR centres as well as other platforms”
“We are excited to be partnering with Imax to develop and deliver premium VR experiences,” agreed a Warner Bros executive in the sort of marketing jargon that gets people wearing suits really hot, “and believe that capitalizing on Justice League and Aquaman characters from our well-known DC properties will broaden the appeal of this fast growing technology.”
The Justice League experience is planned for release at the end of this year, with a new one to follow each year. Ben Affleck has already dropped out of directing a Batman one as of press time.