The UK’s first virtual reality-powered game experience will launch in Leeds next month when a leading escape game company unveils the Hyper Reality Experience, the first in a series of centres to be launched in British cities.
Tick Tock Unlock, which has six sites in four cities, has created an experience merging virtual reality technology with physical sets and multisensory effects to create a unique, fully immersive, multi-player entertainment attraction.
The Hyper Reality Experience™, which launches in Trinity Leeds, an award-winning shopping centre located in the heart of the city, has been developed by former J.P. Morgan executive, Ali Khan, who worked in credit derivatives at the bank and was an expert in trading technology.
Mr Khan, now a director at Tick Tock Unlock, said: “Our Hyper Reality Experience centres will provide a new form of entertainment that is part video game, part virtual reality, part real-world, part theatrical production.
“The centres will allow players to experience a free-roaming, live action challenge which has to be physically completed but which takes place in the playground of a virtual world.
“This will be the first real taste of virtual reality for the British public in a gaming, live action environment and I am confident that Hyper Reality Experience will prove to be a leader and pioneer in virtual reality entertainment.
“Participants have to interact with objects which, in the real world are dummy props, but when viewing through VR headsets become, say, an elevator door, a laser gun or a fuel cell. Players might feel the heat from a virtual fire or the draft from a mineshaft so that it will be difficult to distinguish reality from virtual reality.
“Just like our successful Tick Tock Unlock sites, the games within our Hyper Reality Experience centres are designed for groups of friends, work colleagues and family members.
“We are hugely excited that our first UK centre will launch in Trinity Leeds next month, in the city where our company is headquartered and where we have enjoyed a huge amount of success with live action games.
“Our first Hyper Reality Experience centre has been optimised for a retail environment, but future sites will also include larger, out-of-town retail centres and theme parks and we are in talks with partners about our next locations.”
Andrew Cooper, Chair of Leeds International Festival and Chief Executive of LeedsBID, said: “We are delighted that Tick Tock Unlock’s new Hyper Reality Experience centre is launching on the first day of the Leeds International Festival, showcasing the city’s strength in leading the way in tech development.
“As a first for the UK, this will be an exciting and innovative attraction which LeedsBID is supporting by helping promote to local and national audiences as part of the city centre’s diverse entertainment offer.”
*The Hyper Reality Experience™ centre launches in Trinity Leeds on 22 April to coincide with the start of the Leeds International Festival. Tick Tock Unlock was set up in 2014 by Samrien Hussain, a former school sports development co-ordinator.
The Hyper Reality Experience™ centre, Leeds in numbers
20 – the number of UK-based experts in game development, set design and story telling who created the hyper reality experience
15 – the starting price, in £, per session per person
8 – the maximum number of people who can play the game in Trinity Leeds at any one time
15 – the number of minutes players have to complete their mission
10 – the number of Hyper Reality Experience™ Centres that will be opened by 2019
664 – the size, in sq ft, of the launch centre in Leeds (future centres will be a minimum of 2,000 sq ft per game)
7 – the number of days per week the attraction will be open
9 – the number of hours a day that the Hyper Reality Experience centre in Leeds will be open
For more information, visit www.hyperrealityexperience.com