Arcades VR Héros relies on virtual reality for entertainment, Le Lab/Idées

Virtual reality rooms are spreading across France. Paris, Marseille, Toulouse, Rennes… Several dozen have opened in recent years, although some have not withstood the pandemic. THERE Margny-les-Compiegnein Oise, Oumar Adamou has chosen this new place to be self-employed.

In his Arcades VR Héros room of 630 square meters discovered thanks to an agent of the Agglomerate of the Compiègne region (ARC), Oumar Adamou offers several activities related to
virtual reality
augmented reality

Virtual reality headsets and simulators

The main activity of the site: a augmented reality sports game, Hado. This new one
, which combines the virtual and the real, is practiced with an augmented reality headset and a connected bracelet. Two teams of up to three players compete in what might be called “VR Dodgeball,” the “VR” standing for “virtual reality” or virtual reality. “Players produce fireballs with their hands and aim at their opponents to try to hit them,” explains Oumar Adamou. The games take place in three rounds of 80 seconds and are accessible from the age of 7. ” It’s extremely physical “, assures the room manager.

of Hado hits all over the world. To the point that there are now national tournaments as well as a European Cup and a World Cup. Oumar Adamou hopes federate an entire club about this e-SPORTSAND set up a subscription system for regular practice. He also plans to try his luck at official tournaments in addition to the standard activity accessible at fashion free time for a session.

Other activities are also available, such as virtual reality immersion stations, a escape room or even dynamic virtual simulators. “We offer a flight simulator with a virtual reality helmet, another simulator to pilot a motorcycle on a circuit in total immersion or even a ‘double egg’, a VR cockpit for two people that simulates a roller coaster” , explains Oumar Adamou. .

On-the-job training

If, today, the manager of Arcades VR Héros seems to be an expert in virtual reality, his beginnings in this developing sector are, in fact, recent. Truck driver for eight years, Oumar Adamou converted to
hoping to open his own STORE to UNITED STATES, a place that has always attracted him. He will also find a way out there, when he is declared unfit for the profession of baker in 2020 due to a back injury. “My dream collapsed, I had to find an alternative,” he says. That’s when I came across a video showing a virtual reality activity. It was already well developed in the United States, and I thought to myself that there was an opportunity there to be caught. »

Already some
franchise networks
were positioned in this market and Oumar Adamou contacted some of them to get one idea. But finally he decides Go alone, “to build a room to my taste,” he explains. With only 3,000 euros in his pocket, he set off on a tour of VR rooms in France forced to close during the pandemic, in search of good deals. “My simulators work very well, and they are all used. This allowed me to save 80,000 to 90,000 euros compared to new equipment,” says Oumar Adamou.

With the purchase of the material, it forms at the same time for the use of these cars with the sellers. He is also provided training on purchasing licenses for VR software. “The start is quite simple and I will train my own employees so that they are as versatile as possible,” continues the manager of Arcades VR Héros.

In total, the opening of its game room mobilized an investment of around 75,000 euros. To finance it, Oumar Adamou was able to rely on his own
personal contribution
of 3,000 euros, 16,000 euros of credit from the Initiative France i network Bpifrancean Agefiph grant of 5000 euros and a bank loan.

The crisis of covidfar back

Even if the Covid crisis has damaged the world of leisure and some players in this market, the banks have not closed the door to the project led by Oumar Adamou. Although he sought to raise funds completely during the lockdown. “The crisis has caused quite a delay compared to the originally planned opening date. Instead of opening in April, we inaugurated the space in December 2022. But this has not dampened the enthusiasm for the project,” reassures the manager.

On the contrary, he hopes that after the difficult years that everyone has gone through, the interest in entertainment will strengthen. “For two years, people lost all sense of fun. Today they want to go out and discover new activities”, he says. And rub shoulders with the virtual to escape the real.

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