The current health situation is hitting all sectors hard. However, some are harder hit than others. This is the case, for example, of the cinema industry which is experiencing a serious crisis. Indeed, cinemas have been closed for months in a large number of countries around the world. When the films are not postponed, they are released directly on digital platforms as Mulan was able to do last year. However, this is not a solution to the costs of physical rooms and other charges that accumulate. Groups are therefore looking for new acquisition channels and gamers could be part of the remedy.
At least, this is the axis taken by the largest Korean cinema chain CGV. With more than half of the cinemas closed on the territory and few film releases, the group had the idea of renting its auditoriums to players in order to generate a new source of income. It is thus possible to rent a room for four people for two hours. The rental costs around € 75 before 6 p.m. then climbs to € 110 in the evening. Each group must bring their console, games and controllers with them. Early player feedback praises the sound quality of the experience, enjoying the powerful sound systems of cinemas.
If the idea seems interesting, the scope of it should be put into perspective. Indeed, it only concerns rooms with small capacities and does not provide as many recipes as a classic session. However, it is a welcome additional source. The project is called Azit-X after “azit”, the Korean word for “hiding place”. The idea came from a channel employee, Seung Woo Han, after he realized the similarities between the two universes.
Thinking about how to use the empty spaces in the cinema, I noticed that games today feature excellent graphics and well-structured stories just like movies. Both have a narrative aspect, so if anyone can enjoy watching a movie in the cinema, I figured they would enjoy playing video games in one of them as well.
A concept that also won over the American cinema chain Malco Theaters. What do you think of this initiative? Would you like to see something similar happen in France?