A $30M joint venture was announced today between a company formed by former DreamWorks Animation executives called Spaces and Songcheng Performance Development Co. Ltd. to bring virtual reality into China’s most popular theme parks. Songcheng is one of the world’s biggest theme park operators servicing the roughly 23 million people who flock to the parks in the Middle Kingdom annually. Songcheng and Spaces also plan to build stand-alone virtual reality attractions and parks throughout China.
Under terms of the agreement, the joint venture will be based in Hangzhou, China, and co-managed by Spaces from its headquarters in Los Angeles.
Spaces CEO Shiraz Akmal and CTO Brad Herman, formerly of DreamWorks Animation, has funding from Comcast Ventures, Boost VC, Canyon Creek Capital, Colopl VR Fund, GREE, Kai Huang, the Venture Reality Fund, the Sinovation Fund, Youku Global Media Fund and CRCM VC.
“VR and MxR will be incorporated into existing shows and rides in ways that have never been possible, with thousands of people able to experience VR simultaneously,” said Akmal. “Showcasing the transformative nature of virtual reality on such a wide scale will also help the entire VR industry grow at an increasingly faster pace.”
Akmal and Herman previously worked on VR at DreamWorks. Their company will also work with Songcheng to bring its popular live-streaming video site 6Rooms — which has more than 33 million unique users every month — to VR and MxR (mixed reality) platforms.
The company also will provide technology, develop creative concepts, produce and publish VR and MxR experiences, and furnish tech-support services as Songcheng will operate and promote the VR and MxR attractions. Spaces will also license the underlying software to Songcheng.