According to Forbes (source), the installation of a VR playing surface by the German company Hologate costs roughly EUR 85,000. On top of this are operating costs such as staff and rent, as well as the customer‘s expectations to be able to play various and consistently new games. With a current willingness to pay EUR 0.50 per minute for such offerings, it is crucial to generate a high usage rate in order to be economically viable. As a rough estimate:
- VR playing surface: purchase cost of EUR 85,000 for one playing surface from Hologate (for one to four players)
- Personnel costs: EUR 105,000 for three employees at EUR 35,000 each
- Rental costs: EUR 36,000 per 25 square meters of playing space and 50 square meters for office space and locker rooms at EUR 40 per square meter.
- Average playing time of 10 minutes with five minutes changeover time each
- Willingness to pay: EUR 0.50 per minute of play
Other variable costs have not been taken into account in this calculation. To directly amortize the fixed costs of EUR 226,000 within the first year, a daily turnover of EUR 750 per day or 150 guests per day is required per 300 open days a year. With twelve open hours and four game units per hour, an average occupancy rate of more than three players per game must be maintained. Thus, the business is not a sure-fire success. For this reason, LBE will continue to operate at highly frequented locations such as amusement parks, malls, and movie theaters. Pop-up store concepts are also a possibility. The provider IMAX has already had to close down individual pilots. However, one supplier from multiple locations can swap equipment among sites, and suppliers such as Hologate already offer a game catalogue that enables a variation of games being offered, thus allowing longer installation times for individual games so as to improve profitability.