The DOE scene has been likened by some as 'Arcade 2.0' - a second chance for the rebirth of the black box of lights that eats quarters. But in reality the DOE sector represents a major new shift in the social-tainment scene, using digital entertainment as a means to invigorate the new gaming audience when they leave their front room!
The sector that encompasses DOE include five key elements:
Amusement – Though many would write off video amusement in the West, the market is still a phenomenal business, with the family entertainment center business, the adult game facilities, bowling, cinema and the emerging Gamebar scene that sees classic games mixed with alcohol.
Attractions – Following the success of the marriage of simulation technology with theme park attractions in 1989 with StarTours, we now see an explosion of what are called 4D and 5D effects theaters mixing the latest 3D films with physical effects – this sector expanding now to include interactive dark rides and audience based game experiences.
Hospitality – The bar, restaurant, hotel and resort industry has embraced the use of digital entertainment in their facilities to increase the time the guests spends their time and money. The mixing of beer and games has seen phenomenal success married to the application of league and competitive play for cash prizes.
Retail / Leisure – As the hospitality sector employs DOE technology to extend the patrons spend, retail and the sports and leisure sector look at entertainment systems as draws to their sites, but also compelling activities in their own right. From the arcade mall to the dedicated simulator center offering a strong companion to the cinema style entertainment model.
Edutainment – Museum, gallery and visitor attraction centers are all turning to the use of ‘gamification’ to draw the patron into the experience and offer a new means to impart information and education. A number of the leading museums have deployed 4D theater attractions – now interactive flight simulators and unique touchscreen displays are being fielded for the sophisticated audience.
This is the DOE sector, but not uniquely all of what the sector represents – along with involvements in other areas of business, there is the service sector providing the hardware and delivery platforms. There are the content developers, from the latest 4D films to the intense network game content. Many consumer game developers have licensed content to populate this market and some are starting specific divisions focused wholly on this market.
To support this emerging sector is the Digital Out-of-Home Entertainment Network Association (DNA) – started in 2011, the DNA Association collects the international leading lights from this industry and offers a chance for promotion of the sector and a means to get the message out. A number of conferences and seminar held in America and Europe.