PSV launch a new partnership with Pillow’s Willow VR Studios, who have just presented their latest brainchild Exodus Burned, an innovative game in which players use their whole body to score points in a virtual reality.
This co-operation offers both parties an opportunity to develop new initiatives for fans and gamers under the name of Active Esports. In this way, they respond to PSV’s community engagement policy to promote physical activity. Both parties successfully worked together in organising events including the PSV FANdag and the launch of the 5G pilot project of the Eindhoven Municipality.
The perfect match
The two parties look to make the perfect match. PSV, who have already launched the FIFA20, the latest edition of the annual esports competition, and who are looking for an even better esports offer, as well as Active Esports Arena, who try to find ways to increase brand awareness, look to see where they can complement and strengthen each other. “We would very much like to offer a larger range of services under Esports and target young people by introducing entertainment, fun and vitality. Active Esports Arena is the ideal game to achieve this", says Frans Janssen, PSV’s Commercial Director. “PSV have global brand strength and can help us realise our ambition of building brand recognition and reaching our target group”, says, Andy Lürling, CEO of Pillow’s Willow VR Studios: “The first Active Esports Arena will be opened in the SX building in Strijp-S in Eindhoven in January 2020, at walking distance to the Philips Stadion. PSV and Pillow’s Willow VR Studios will, among other things, offer a package in which both companies and individuals can play Exodus Burned and enjoy the experience.” Exodus Burned, meanwhile, is being widely supported, and, besides PSV, TripleDouble and Sportscloud have also joined the collaboration. The game and the experience has been set up by investments of LUMO Labs and the Leisure Ontwikkel Fonds Noord-Brabant. (LOF Brabant). Het LOF Brabant stimulates the development of new leisure offer in the north of the province of Brabant in order to attract more visitors who live farther away to the province. And Exodus Burned sets the tone.
Active Esports Arena
“It’s my dream we all come together and, via augmented and virtual reality, watch gamers, with their body as their controller, jump, make Kung Fu moves and kick virtual reality balls”, says Peter Kortenhoeven who developed Exodus Burned. The creative director/founder at Pillow’s Willow VR Studios, is well-known for his award-winning game Spark of Light. He made a massive effort thirty months ago to create a new way of gaming with Exodus Burned and even define a new type of sport.
Kortenhoeven brings the best elements of gaming and sport together. “I will not calling the experience of gaming into question. It’s like watching a movie, which is fine. Those esports are still rather passive. It is a hand-strengthen activity but you do not work your whole body. We considered it a challenge to use technical developments like augmented and virtual reality to make people move around and do a sport without them realising it.”
Your body as controller
To play Exodus Burned you need a harness equipped with sensors. “It is an amazing gaming experience. Everybody looks like a sports hero. When you put on the VR glasses, you will become the sports hero you have always wanted to be, in a futuristic setting.” And in that setting, the gamers get a new challenge every minute, inspired on sport or gaming, like heading a ball or kicking a ball away. It lasts for eight minutes and can be played at any level. Kortenhoeven: “Easy to learn hard to master. When you are a good athlete, you are a real VR hero and play at a high degree of difficulty. The complex game is played with a faster speed. But children and older people can play the easy version.” Kortenhoeven would like to make moving but also VR a more social activity. “You will hardly all sit down and watch a gamer play a VR game. It is different from watching a football match together. VR is an isolated thing, which is the problem. It is interesting but in particular for the one who is wearing the VR glasses.” Moving around while you are gaming, with each other and against each other, is what characterises Exodus Burned. The game offers fun and entertainment because the gamers make some weird movements, which makes it a visibly stunning game. You can share the experience in the first Active Esports Arena in the SX building in Strijp-S, starting in January 2020.